The wait is over.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed that safety Eric Berry will return to practice Wednesday as the team begins preparing for the Oakland Raiders. Berry has been held out of practice and games since mid-August with what the team has described as a sore heel, though reports, which have never been confirmed (nor denied) say Berry has what is called a “Haglund’s deformity.”
“With Eric (Berry) we’ll see how he does and just ease him back into it,” Reid told the local Kansas City media on Wednesday. ““The one thing we’ve done great that’s a big part of this is the communication has been great. We will just see how he’s doing. There’s no pressure there. It’s just how he feels. We will take it play-by-play...one thing I know is that it’s killing him to watch. He loves to play. It tears him up not to be out there. At the same time, we have to do what is smart and make sure that once those juices get going everything is okay for the long haul.”
Reid added he is not yet certain Berry will play this weekend against the Raiders.
Berry last played for the Chiefs in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season, when the Chiefs defeated the New England Patriots, 42-27. Berry ruptured his left Achilles tendon during the game. As a reminder, the soreness Berry has this season that has kept him out more than 100 days is in his right heel, the same heel in which he had soreness in the last training camp.
Berry is a three-time first-team All-Pro and has been named to the Pro Bowl five times in his career. Berry won the Chiefs’ Derrick Thomas award (team MVP) during his last full season in 2016. Berry has 437 tackles (371 solo), 14 interceptions, five touchdowns, 51 passes defensed, 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 87 career games.
Berry was the Chiefs’ No. 5 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he has since spent all nine seasons of his career with the club. Berry signed a six-year, $78 million contract in early 2017 that made him the highest-paid safety in the league.
Including playoffs and regular season, Berry has missed 27 games since the injury.
Eric Berry, a 2018 timeline
- August 12 - Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp 2018: Sunday injury report (Berry misses practice with sore heel)
- August 21 - Chiefs’ latest injury report highlighted by Eric Berry’s absence
- August 23 - Eric Berry will miss Chiefs’ preseason game against Bears Saturday
- September 5 - Chiefs say Berry is “literally day to day”
- September 12 - Chiefs say they’re being “cautious” as Eric Berry misses another practice Wednesday
- September 17 - Eric Berry could practice this week, per report
- September 29 - Eric Berry has a Haglund’s deformity on his heel, per report
- October 14 - Chiefs “confident” Eric Berry will play this season, per report
- October 29 - Clark Hunt on Eric Berry: “It literally is day to day”
- November 18 - Eric Berry expected to begin practicing after the bye week, per report
- November 25 - Chiefs hopeful Eric Berry will return to practice this week, per (cautious) report
- November 27 - Eric Berry has reported to Chiefs facility with “intent to practice” this week, new report says