Chiefs safety Eric Berry ruptured his Achilles tendon, coach Andy Reid said on Friday.
Berry was injured Thursday in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 42-27 victory over the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass.
“He’ll be out,” Reid said on Friday. “You know you’re not going to replace Eric Berry with another Eric Berry … Eric Berrys only come around every once in a while. He’s a heck of a player.”
Reid said general manager Brett Veach is working through possible roster moves. For now, the next men up are fourth-year pro Daniel Sorensen, who earned the third-most snaps among all the Chiefs’ safeties last year, and second-year pro Eric Murray, a former cornerback who has improved his eyes at safety the past year. But the way the two will split Berry’s duties has not been decided.
Sorensen already serves a vital role as a linebacker in the Chiefs’ dime package, a unique position he thrives in because of his physicality and coverage ability in passing situations.
Finding a player who can replace Sorensen in the dime would be difficult, so it’s possible the Chiefs might go with Murray as a more traditional safety in Berry’s old role, particularly in subpackages.
Reid said he told Berry after the game that “he could get started with his coaching career now. So if it works where he can’t play, then we will get him right in there and he can help out. He will still be a big part.”
Berry, who returned from Hodgkin lymphoma and produced Pro Bowl seasons in 2015 and 2016, is the highest-paid safety in the NFL after signing a six-year, $78 million contract with $40 million in guarantees after last season.
Berry had missed all of the preseason games because of a heel injury, and he played 69 snaps in the Chiefs’ 42-27 victory over the Patriots.
He had a huge fourth-down stop and played solid defense on tight end Rob Gronkowski most of the evening.