Eric Berry has been cleared by doctors to return to practice and is expected to join the Chiefs on the field later today, as Dave Skretta of the Associated Press writes. Berry diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease late last season and has been sidelined ever since.
Berry experienced discomfort in his chest in a late season contest against Oakland and Chiefs trainers discovered a mass on the right side of his chest. Further testing showed that the safety had Hodgkin’s disease and he began treatment in early December. Berry went through the final round of treatment in June, and doctors now feel that he’s strong enough to get back to football.
“He’s kept himself in good shape, believe it or not,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on Tuesday, before Berry was cleared to return. “He’s really done a good job there.”
Berry, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft, has played his entire career in Kansas City. He missed all of the 2011 season with a torn knee ligament, but returned to start all 16 games the following year. He has started 53 games in all, piling up 323 tackles with 5.5 sacks and eight interceptions.
The return of Berry is wonderful news for the player, his family, and concerned fans everywhere. From a football perspective, the 26-year-old is regarded as one of the best run-stopping safeties in the game and the Chiefs clearly need him. Kansas City graded out as one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in 2014.