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Emotional Berry returns to games for the Chiefs

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The feel-good story of the preseason for the Kansas City Chiefs continued in their first game as safety Eric Berry returned to the field, making another step forward in his journey to come back following treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

After grabbing a pregame hug from his mother, Carol, on the sideline at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Berry got on the field for eight plays with the Chiefs’ No. 2 defense.

“It was great to have Eric back,” head coach Andy Reid said. “He was fired up. He was out of control in the locker room before the game. He was just excited, just ready to go. I’m very happy for him.

“I thought he did some pretty good things. He did a pretty nice job.”

Berry savored every second of his return.

“It was great being back out here,” Berry said after the game. “Just the smell of the grass, the crowd, the food; I was just taking everything in, being in the locker room with my teammates. I broke down on the plane on the way out here; it just all hit me. I don’t think anybody can understand the road I took and the sacrifices I had to make just to be able to experience the things I mentioned. You take the little things in and appreciate everything about the game and everything that surrounds the game. It is just a blessing to be out here and I am going to take advantage of it.”

Next to the joy of playing again, Berry’s finest moment was the hug with his mother.

“It meant so much,” said Berry. “My mom has seen me at my worst and she saw me at my best. It’s something we talked about when I was laying in the hospital bed or just in the room up at four in the morning, and she was telling me everything would be OK because I just couldn’t stop crying.

“She comforted me in a time when I needed to be comforted and she was very strong. A lot of people talk about the person going through the situation, but they don’t talk about the caregiver and I can see how stressful it was for her and how it weighed on her. She was going through things outside of my deal, so for her to put everything on the side and just deal with me, it was a blessing to have her on my side.”


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