Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who is undergoing cancer treatment near his family’s home in Georgia, was a special guest during the Tennessee Volunteers’ annual Family Day practice on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
Berry, who was diagnosed with a mass in his chest last fall after complaining of pain after the Chiefs’ game at Oakland, attended the practice along with his father, James.
Berry’s two younger brothers, Evan and Elliott, play for coach Butch Jones at Tennessee, Eric’s alma mater.
Berry visited with coaches, including Jones, at the practice and looked to be in good spirits. He has been undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma while away from Kansas City and the Chiefs.
On Saturday, Berry wore a black Chicago Bulls ballcap. Underneath, his trademark short dreadlocks were gone. But he appeared to be as fit as ever.
“Having Eric Berry here is very symbolic of what this football program stands for,” Jones said. “That is family. We are all one family and having the Berry family here and at the bowl game and being able to spend quality time with them the day before the game, then having him and his father here, I know it means a lot to Evan and it means a lot of Elliott.”
“He’s doing really good,” Evan said. “I think he has three more treatments left. To be honest, I don’t really see it affecting him. He’s a very strong person, and he’s continued to keep strong.”
Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 10 percent of lymphoma cases and is considered to be highly curable. Team chairman Clark Hunt and general manager John Dorsey visited Berry in Atlanta in January and receive regular updates on his status.
It’s not known when, or if, Berry will return to the Chiefs. But team officials have continued to stress that their primary concern is for his well-being.