Despite his injuries being almost entirely out of his control, Burks has become a divisive topic for Tennessee Titans fans. I still think there is every reason to believe that he can be a weapon for this team for years to come.
If you are already out on Treylon Burks, then there isn't much that anyone can do to convince you that he can be an important player for the Titans until he actually proves it on the field.
That is fair, but if you do have an open mind on Burks, here are some reasons why he hasn't been as bad as his box score might suggest and why there is still hope.
Tennessee Titans fans shouldn't give up on Treylon Burks yet
Burks had a slow start to his rookie season in 2022, but a lot of that blame should be put squarely on the shoulders of Todd Downing and Mike Vrabel. Like his fellow rookie Chig Okonkwo, Burks was heavily featured in the Tennessee Titans offense until the second half of the season.
When he finally was a big part of the offense, he only got three and a half games with Ryan Tannehill before being concussed by a dirty hit in the Philadelphia Eagles game. When he came back, Tannehill was out for the rest of the season and he was stuck with Malik Willis.
However, when he had an NFL-caliber quarterback (Tannehill or Joshua Dobbs), Burks was very effective. In those five-and-a-half games, he had 23 receptions for 315 yards and a touchdown.
Despite rushing back from a knee injury he sustained in a joint practice against the Minnesota Vikings near the end of the preseason, Burks was fine in his first two games of the year with 5 receptions for 94 yards before his knee finally forced him to miss time.
Burks returned to the lineup for two weeks before being stretchered off of the field after sustaining the second concussion of his NFL career.
It has been three weeks since that scary injury, and a chunk of the fan base has soured on Burks. He has been labeled as injury prone, which is fair considering...well, how many injuries he has sustained. However, none of these injuries are things he can control, and even Mike Vrabel would admit that considering that they aren't soft tissue injuries.
Burks has some serious ground to make up with that portion of the Tennessee Titans fan base, and he is going to have to make some plays over the last month and a half if he is going to win them back to his side. Even with a strong finish to the season, the Tennessee Titans need to reevaluate how they use Burks.
They spent too much time trying to use him like an A.J. Brown clone on slants and quick routes, but in reality, he should be used as a deep possession receiver. The coaches should look at someone like Michael Pittman as a good comparison for what Burks can do.
At this point, no one should be expecting Burks to turn into a Pro Bowl receiver, but he could absolutely turn into a solid WR2 if he is used correctly and if he can stop sustaining freak injuries. First thing is first though, with DeAndre Hopkins as the clear WR1 for this season and next season, Burks has to adapt to a role where he can make the most of just a handful of targets.
The next six weeks are huge for his future and Tennessee Titans fans should be hoping that he can make the most of it because a good final stretch from Burks would free up the Titans to take a blue-chip tackle at the top of the draft assuming that they aren't in Marvin Harrison Jr. range.