Bears LB Roquan Smith (pectoral) and TE Trey Burton (hip) underwent recent surgeries to repair season-ending injuries and are expected back in time for training camp in July, GM Ryan Pace confirmed at his season-ending press conference Tuesday.
Pace also confirmed that WR2 Anthony Miller will require surgery on his left shoulder for the second time in as many offseasons and wouldn't rule out the possibility that QB Mitch Trubisky also may undergo surgery on his left shoulder.
Smith, 22, the eighth overall selection in the 2018 draft, had recently returned to his rookie form and was the Bears' leading tackler when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle on the first defensive series of the Week 15 win vs. the Dallas Cowboys. The injury halted a season that began with great promise after his Pro Bowl alternate rookie campaign but was marred by a surprise late deactivation in Week 4 for personal reasons, after which he clearly wasn't himself for a few weeks.
Burton, 28, hasn't been the same player since he was a late scratch from the wild-card defeat vs. his former team with a groin injury that required sports hernia surgery last offseason. In the second season of a four-year, $32 million deal, after posting career highs across the board in 2018, Burton managed only 14 catches for 84 yards in 8 games (five starts) prior to being placed on season-ending injured reserve.
The veteran "move" tight end will undergo hip surgery, which Pace said is related to the groin issue and, he hopes, will help fill the massive void from the TE position that contributed to the offense's derailing.
Anthony Miller, one of the Bears' bigger bright spots in the second half of 2019 on offense following a frustrating first half of his second season that included too many mental lapses, will soon undergo left shoulder surgery for the second consecutive offseason, Pace also confirmed Tuesday.
Miller was injured Sunday in Minnesota by Vikings S Andrew Sendejo on his first kick return of the season, a role he was only playing because Pro Bowler Cordarrelle Patterson suffered a concussion moments earlier.
This is something that we can get fixed. I know they're confident in the outcome of it," Pace said. "This is new news to us basically just yesterday that he's going to need this surgery. But we don't have any long-term concerns with him."
Miller played through a chronic left-shoulder dislocation and torn labrum during his rookie season in 2018, after the Bears traded back into the second round to select the Memphis product with the 51st overall pick. He led the team in receiving touchdowns despite the injury, but after missing the offseason rehabbing from surgery, he was unable to capitalize on that positive momentum early on this season. After catching only 16 passes for 211 yards in the first seven games, Miller came on like gangbusters in the second half of the season, with 36 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns in his final eight-plus games.