Eric Berry injury update: Chiefs safety might not play rest of preseason
By Matt Conner
Head coach Andy Reid implied that fans might not see Eric Berry for the rest of the preseason as their star safety tries to get healthy.
Get ready. Stay healthy.
Those are the two objectives in the preseason for each and every one of the NFL’s 32 franchises, and the Kansas City Chiefs are no different. Perhaps that’s why Andy Reid is insinuating that the team has likely seen the last of star safety Eric Berry in the preseason.
Berry has missed several practices in a row now, and the team’s second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons last Friday, due to a sore heel. He was plagued by a sore heel in the preseason last year and then went on to miss the entire year due to a torn Achilles that came up on a non-contact play against the New England Patriots in Week 1. It was a devastating loss and the team certainly doesn’t want to lose their All-Pro defender for any more games due to injury, minor or major.
As Berry missed Tuesday’s practice, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid insinuated that the team isn’t expecting him to do anything but rest for the duration of the preseason. If Berry suddenly feels much better, of course the team would welcome more practice reps, but Reid says he’s “okay with it” if Berry is unable to suit up before Week 1.
Check out the following exchange with Chiefs reporters and Reid on Tuesday:
"Q: With Eric (Berry), is there a situation you feel comfortable with him not doing anything at all in the preseason?REID: “He came out and practiced the first couple of weeks and did pretty good. I just don’t want to go backwards, that’s not what I want to do. I am okay with it. He’s far enough along where he’ll be alright.”Q: Does his experience suggests he doesn’t have to play in a preseason game to feel like he’s getting ready?REID: “Yes. Again, he’s always trying to do that, I have to monitor it and see where we’re at. I’m comfortable with where he’s going with this thing. I want to keep it that way.”"
If Berry remains out for the rest of the preseason, this means a few things for the Chiefs that fans should be aware of:
- If Berry suits up for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers after missing the preseason, the spotlight will be on him to show he’s healthy. It’s easy to imagine fans as quite nervous as they watch Berry try to jump into a regular season game after sitting out for so long.
- The lack of preseason reps for Berry means those will go to others further down the food chain, especially with Dan Sorensen also out and Robert Golden having left the team. Armani Watts, Jordan Sterns, Leon McQuay and Eric Murray will hopefully benefit from having such little competition around them.
- This means that a completely revamped secondary will have never once played together as an expected unit until they face a team that matters. For Berry, it might be quite easy to jump back in as such a talented and experienced player. However, it’s another thing for a new free safety starter (whether Watts or Murray) to settle in across from someone if that someone has not been there.
The best case scenario is, of course, that Eric Berry’s sore heel is able to completely go away, allowing him to return soon at full strength. But it sounds as if that’s not going to happen anytime in the very near future, which means that the team is taking the cautious approach, even if it means never seeing Berry on the field again until it counts in the standings.