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Chiefs’ defensive coordinator says team has to ‘be smart’ with Eric Berry

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry deulitt@kcstar.com

Eric Berry’s return to football after beating Hodgkin lymphoma continues to be the best story of training camp, but the Chiefs are still going to be careful with him as he get re-accustomed to the physicality of professional football.

Berry practiced for the fourth day in a row Tuesday, but did not participate in the 11-on-11 periods that featured contact.

“His story is an unbelievable story — he’s done a tremendous job with what he has been through,” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “You know with the disease and chemo, to come back this soon on the field is an incredible story.

“We just have to be smart with him. He has to be smart and realize, ‘Hey, this is going to take a little time here.’”

Sutton said Berry, a three-time Pro Bowler, will get plenty of understanding as he works his way back into the mix.

“When he came back originally, he was excited — he was on adrenaline,” Sutton said. “It’s going to take some time and we’ve kind of made a conscious effort of, ‘Hey, we’re going to manage as well as we can and let him be the lead dog in it and give him what he needs.’

“He’s played a lot of football so we’re not too concerned about that. He’s just got to get back to where he feels comfortable, and reacts and that type of thing.”

Kansas City Star Chiefs beat reporter Terez A. Paylor recaps the team’s training camp practice on Tuesday at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. VIDEO BY DAVID EULITT deulitt@kcstar.com

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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