"He was awesome this morning. He's not one that likes to do a lot of talking but he felt like the team needed to hear it from him that he's okay and that he's going to get after this thing and get it fixed," Reid said. "Listen there were some guys that were obviously shocked by the information. Understandable so, these guys love him. He's a big part of this football team, obviously. Not only as a player but also as a person and leader, so there were some guys who were shaken up. But I think with his strength and being able to talk to the players, they felt a comfort in that."
The Chiefs were hopeful the outcome for safety Eric Berry will be different. Perhaps they caught Berry’s illness early enough. Maybe his plan for treatment will make all the difference. The Chiefs, and by extension Berry, are due that good fortune. The Chiefs, like all teams and families, have been touched by tragedy, but perhaps more than their share.
When the Chiefs gathered Monday morning for the start of an important week—Kansas City, a game behind the Broncos in the AFC West, hosts Denver on Sunday—they were summoned to a team meeting at their training complex. Coach Andy Reid told them safety Eric Berry, the three-time Pro Bowler, had something to talk to them about. "I’ve got something I’ve got to take care of," Berry told them. "I’ll be back. I’ll be fine. You guys have to take care of business."
If the season ended today: The Chiefs would be the second of the AFC’s two wild-card teams and the sixth overall seed in the conference playoffs. The Chiefs are one of four AFC teams not in first place to have a 7-4 record.
So why take a flier? Well, why not? An already-thin receiving corps is down to scraps now -- Hemingway left last Thursday's loss to Oakland with a concussion, and another wideout, A.J. Jenkins, was placed on injured reserve to correspond with the Avant signing. Plus, there's comfort on both sides: Reid drafted Avant out of Ann Arbor in 2006, and as a slot man in Philly he averaged 455 yards and 37 grabs.
Around the league, the Cleveland Browns (7-4) and Detroit Lions (7-4) each have won four games by seven points or less, while three such wins have come from the Dallas Cowboys (8-3), Denver Broncos (8-3), Kansas City Chiefs (7-4), San Diego Chargers (7-4), Seattle Seahawks (7-4) and St. Louis Rams (3-4).
Key stat: The Broncos haven't beaten a team with a winning record on the road this season. The Chiefs have won four straight at Arrowhead Stadium after losing their season opener.