Eric Berry Returns, But Mystery Remains Surrounding Heel Injury, Future Plans

Dec 13, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Eric Berry (29) follows the play during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Berry played 30 snaps in his first action in more than 15 months as Chiefs take "nice and slow" approach with his return

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Eric Berry returned to the Chiefs lineup in Thursday night's 29-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and while mystery still shrouds the nature of his heel injury and his plans for the remainder of the season, he said now “felt right” to get on the field for the first time season.

“It just felt right this week, just sitting around talking to my parents, talking to the coaches and the staff,” Berry said, “it just felt like this was a good time to come in and get something going.”

Berry played 30 snaps, all in the first half. That was all part of the plan, head coach Andy Reid said.

“He had his reps that first half and then we kind of just backed off there,” Reid said. “We were going to to see how he felt as we went, and he gave us some good snaps there.”

The club laid out a blueprint for Berry's return, and never once seemed to waver in its execution.

“We came in with a plan and we just stuck with it,” Berry said. “We didn't want to push it past that so just stayed true to that.

“We just talked about it and felt like I was good where I was at.”

Berry said he felt fine after the game, but also agreed with sitting out the second half.

“There wasn't any setbacks,” Berry said. “Just wanted to be smart about the whole situation.”

Before Berry returned to practice following the team's bye week during Thanksgiving, he hadn't practiced with the club since Aug. 11. Thursday's game marked his first football action since the season opener in 2017. The additional layoff following the game also played a factor in the timing of his return.

“I felt like I probably could have come back last week but it was still that hesitation I guess,” Berry said. “I didn't feel it in my spirit, so I just said I'll wait until this one.”

The injury, he explained, require patience and trust.

“Just trusting your instincts, just listening to it and staying true to that,” Berry said. “Obviously I wanted to be out there in the second half. Like I said, we came in with a plan and just stuck to it.”

Reid said the Chiefs never intended to allow Berry to play the whole game. He thought Berry played well, but said there were certainly a couple of plays he'd like to have back.

“He hasn’t played – he hasn't had the pads on since training camp, and that was only for a couple of days there,” Reid said. “So that's kind of expected. Just nice and slow with it. That’s kind of where we are at.”

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