Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Trey Burton scores first 2 TDs of Colts career as he points teammates toward Christ

Not many tight ends rush for touchdowns in the NFL, but that’s how Trey Burton scored for the first time as an Indianapolis Colt. With Indy trailing 21-0 and on Cincinnati’s 1-yard line in the second quarter Sunday, Burton took a direct snap in the shotgun and barreled into the end zone.

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Later in the quarter, down 24-7, Burton caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Philip Rivers to further cut into the deficit. Indianapolis outscored Cincinnati 17-3 the rest of the way to head into its bye week with a victory. The Colts moved to 4-2, second place in the AFC South behind the undefeated Tennessee Titans and into the last wild card position in the AFC playoffs.

“It’s been a lot of fun the couple games I’ve been here,” Burton told IndyStar after the game.

Of course, Burton might be most known for a passing touchdown he recorded when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. In Super Bowl LII, he tossed the famed “Philly Special” to quarterback Nick Foles.

A seven-year pro out of Florida, Burton spent his first four years with the Eagles and the last two with the Chicago Bears before signing with the Colts in April. He began the 2020 season on injured reserve with a calf injury and missed three games, but he was activated on October 3 before a matchup with the Bears. His 58 receiving yards on Sunday were his most this season.

Earlier this year, Burton reflected on his faith amid the uncertainties he and his family faced during a turbulent offseason.

“There’s so much up in the air right now. I’ve moved to Indianapolis, with the plan that my wife and kids will join in September, as long as there is a season,” he said in an August 2020 piece with The Increase. “This isn’t the first time we’ve been in this type of situation, but it’s never been as extreme as it is today. So we do exactly what we always do when we’re finding ourselves walking somewhat blind — we pray. We pray and ask God to open up the doors He wants to lead us through for today, so we can head in the direction He’s mapping out for us.

“… When we remain open and vulnerable with God, letting Him know we have no idea where He’s calling us or why He’s leading us where He is, we draw closer to Him. We simply pray, ‘Your will be done.'”

Burton has boldly proclaimed his faith throughout his NFL journey. Inspired to model Christ’s teachings, he announced in 2018 that he would raise money for International Justice Mission, an organization that combats human trafficking and sex slavery.

“God tells us at the end of James 1 to take care of the orphans and widows in their distress,” Burton told Sports Spectrum in 2018. “My family and I feel like God is telling us this is the fight He wants us to fight. So we are donating $1,000 a catch and $2,500 a TD to help end trafficking across the world.”

Thanks in part to his humanitarian efforts, Burton was Chicago’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2018.

Now that Burton is settling into his role in Indianapolis, he is trusting in God to continue to grant him opportunities to share the name of Jesus.

“I want to help my teammates understand that there are more important things to focus on than football only,” Burton told The Increase last month. “This season, the pandemic may not play out in their favor for the ideal season, but maybe, just maybe this will be the season they hear about Jesus Christ. This may be my only opportunity to have that conversation with many of them. I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

After their bye week, Burton and the Colts return to the field on November 1 to play the 2-3 Detroit Lions.

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