Tennessee Titans don’t need to panic about current status of Treylon Burks

Treylon Burks, Tennessee TitansNas Titans Ota 025
Treylon Burks, Tennessee TitansNas Titans Ota 025 /

Despite some early setbacks, there’s no need to panic about Tennessee Titans rookie WR Treylon Burks

Highly touted first-round draft pick Treylon Burks has been a member of the Tennessee Titans for just a couple of months, but he’s already facing scrutiny from members of the media.

The No. 18 overall pick out of Arkansas, Burks has been in and out of organized team activities (OTAs) in Nashville, including an eyebrow-raising early exit from his very first practice as an NFL player in May.

Rumors began swirling that Burks was out of shape, in poor conditioning, and/or couldn’t handle the hot, humid Nashville air, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.

"Burks was laboring in team drills, according to multiple reports, with breathing difficulties before going inside. He later returned, ran a few routes and worked with receivers coach Rob Moore on his releases and head fakes before heading back inside. Burks did not return the second time."

Burks was seen (during various points in various practices) with ice on his neck, being pulled out of drills, and heading into the locker room and not returning at various points— it created a lot of questions for members of the media who have been on site taking in OTAs.

Burks, Head Coach Mike Vrabel, and other members of the Tennessee Titans remained tight-lipped about what was going on— until June 7 when Mike Vrabel finally confirmed why Burks was struggling to get through most workouts: he has asthma and occasionally has to use an inhaler.

Burks’ condition was reportedly known internally prior to drafting him and the team isn’t concerned about it, according to Vrabel.

What’s not known is if this is a relatively new condition or something he’s dealt with before. There’s nothing available to suggest one way or another, but with Burks struggling, it seems like this may be a new diagnosis for him and he’s learning to manage it and compete with it.

If you compound the asthma condition with the pressure of him being a mid-first rounder in a position with a steep learning curve, and the giant-sized expectations (to fill the void left by stud wide receiver AJ Brown), you could see why the Titan faithful would be concerned.

But, if you’re a Titans fan, an asthma diagnosis and early struggles for Treylon Burks in OTAs are nothing to get worked up about just yet.

Two NFL superstars thrived in their careers despite being afflicted with asthma: Jerome Bettis and Emmitt Smith, according to the Asthma Initiative of Michigan.

Burks will get a handle on his condition and the rest will follow. The Titans have great infrastructure and culture to put the rookie wide receiver in a position to thrive, plus there’s plenty of time before training camp for him to get acclimated and incorporated with the offense.

If Burks brings with him the same kind of work ethic and drive that he exhibited with the Arkansas Razorbacks, he’s going to give opposing defenses fits during the regular season.

Treylon Bruks finished with 66 receptions for 1,104 yards, and 11 TDs last season for the Razorbacks. He also added 14 rushing attempts for 112 yards and 1 TD.