It’s the news that Chiefs’ fans have been waiting for.
For the first time since that summer morning back on August 11 at training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri, Chiefs’ All-Pro safety Eric Berry was out on the field participating for the Chiefs’ defense on Wednesday afternoon—ending a three-month absence because of a heel issue that seems to have improved enough for the unquestioned leader of this Chiefs’ team to begin to work his way back into the mix.
“We’ll see how he does and just kind of ease him back into it,” Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid said of Berry on Wednesday afternoon. “The one thing we’ve done great is that the communication has been great (throughout this process). I think he’s as curious as we are to see how he feels. We’ll go easy with it.”
Reid was noncommittal on when Berry may return to the game field because of the obvious fact that his star safety hasn’t practiced in more than three months and hasn’t played in a game since Week 1 of the 2017 season—when he injured his Achilles against the New England Patriots.
As of Wednesday, that Patriots’ game was 447 days ago, which means the expectations of how quickly Berry may be out there in a game should come with that caveat.
“The one thing we know about EB [Berry] is that it was killing him to watch,” Reid added. “He loves to play. It tears him up to not be out there, but at the same time, we have to do what’s smart.”
Despite not playing, Berry has been active in and around the facility—going to all the practices, meetings and games, while also doing his rehab and trying to get to the point in which he could return.
“He’s done a nice job of coaching,” Reid added. “The players listen to him and he’s smart. He’s been there and done that, and the guys respect him for it. He’s quietly had some nice little coaching points in there.”
“He’s up here as much as anyone,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said of Berry. “He’s up here (at the facility) as much as I am. He’s up here as much as anyone except Coach Reid."
Mahomes added that it’ll be nice to have Berry back on the field.
“The passion that he has—you can just feel it every single day,” he explained. “He’s been working his tail off. I’m glad he’ll be back out there with us and bring that spirit and leadership role.”
“He’s been working extremely hard for this,” Reid concluded. “I don’t care if it’s this week, next week, or whatever, I just want it to be what’s right, and the only way to do that is to communicate.”