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First-Round Pick Treylon Burks Battling Asthma

Wide receivers coach Rob Moore revealed the reason behind the rookie wide receiver's struggles, still believes the 18th overall selection will be a big performer on offense.
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NASHVILLE – Everyone can now breathe a little easier. Except Treylon Burks, that is.

The mystery surrounding the Tennessee Titans’ first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft was solved Tuesday when wide receiver coach Rob Moore revealed the reason that Burks has struggled to make it through workouts or has had his reps limited during the recent rookie orientation and the ongoing organized team activities (OTAs).

“Some of the things that have happened are kind of out of his control,” Moore said. “The kid’s got asthma. Those things happen.”

Burks was not in attendance during Tuesday’s voluntary session. He was “unavailable,” according to coach Mike Vrabel.

The 18th overall selection, made headlines last month he looked out of breath and was taken from the field twice during the first on-field session of the rookie orientation. At one point, he was seen with an inhaler, but he finished that workout inside with the trainers.

More recently, he has stayed on the field for the entirety of workouts but has had long stretches where he got no reps. senior NFL writer Albert Breer reported last week that Burks labored through some workouts during the pre-draft process, which some teams saw as a red flag.

Two weeks earlier, Breer reported that Burks had trouble keeping his weight down prior to the draft. The Titans list Burks at 225 pounds (he is 6-foot-2), which is what he weighed at the scouting combine in February. According to Breer, though, Burks soon carried an additional five pounds or more around during team visits and subsequent workouts.

Last week, Burks finally met the local media for the first time since the draft weekend but provided little clarity on his situation.

“It differs every now and then, but I’m just taking it one day at a time and just playing ball,” he said. 

Vrabel has been asked repeatedly about Burks' situation but he declined to provide any detailed information.

Burks, of course, is considered critical to the Titans’ offense this season, which means they need him to be able to log a lot of snaps.

Tennessee drafted him with the pick they got from the Philadelphia Eagles in the trade for A.J. Brown, their leading receiver each of the last three years. Along with Robert Woods, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, and fifth-round draft pick Kyle Philips, it is possible that the top three wide receivers will be newcomers to the offense.

Last season at Arkansas, Burks became the fourth player in program history (the first since 2012) to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He set a school record with six 100-yard receiving games and was a first-team All-SEC selection.

“He understands what the expectations are,” Moore said. “… Treylon’s worked hard. He comes in early in the morning. Board work. Walk-throughs. Everything you could think of. It’s a lot of different things to try to shorten the learning curve and get him caught up to speed.

“… I’m excited about Treylon and what he’s going to be able to bring to this football team. He just has to get himself healthy and show everybody out here on the field what he’s capable of.”