Chiefs safety Eric Berry is expected to return to the team on Sunday, a source told The Star on Friday.
Berry has skipped the last month of training camp and practice in an effort to show his displeasure that the Chiefs were unable to reach a long-term contract agreement with him. Berry, who was designated with the franchise tag in March, is slated to make $10.8 million this year.
The Chiefs could use Berry, who is the four-time Pro Bowler and reigning NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The first-string defense has been gashed a bit in the Chiefs’ first two preseason games, and Berry, a very strong run defender, will surely help in that area when the Chiefs open the season at home against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 11.
Berry’s return on Sunday puts him in line to potentially play in the Chiefs’ final exhibition game on Thursday at home against the Green Bay Packers, although it is not a given.
“I think it’s important to see what kind of shape he is in and then gradually bring him back into the football speed of things,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said earlier this week. “I don’t think it’s the end of the world if he doesn’t play in the last preseason game. The most important thing is to put eyes on him and see what kind of shape he is in so we don’t put him at risk out there.”
During Berry’s absence, rookie Eric Murray and third-year pro Daniel Sorensen have taken the majority of the reps next to entrenched starter Ron Parker.