The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New England Patriots during their season opener last night, but lost arguably their best player in the process.
Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a ruptured Achilles, head coach Andy Reid announced on Friday.
Berry underwent an MRI on Friday morning after being carted off the field midway through the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game due to a non-contact injury. During his postgame press conference, Reid revealed that the injured safety helped “break down” the team in the locker room after the game in order to prevent his injury from casting a shadow over the team’s upset road win against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Berry, who NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal described as the “heart and soul” of the Chiefs, re-signed with Kansas City after agreeing to a six-year, $78 million contract in February.
The former University of Tennessee standout missed the entire preseason due to a heel injury, but was exceptional during his regular season debut, playing in all 69 snaps prior to his injury. He also managed to hold Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski to just 33 receiving yards in coverage all night.
Berry has made the Pro Bowl during five of his first seven NFL seasons, excluding the 2011 campaign, in which he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 and the 2014 season, in which he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
But after successfully beating cancer and returning to form as one of the league’s best safeties, Berry’s comeback from an Achilles injury seems like a guarantee.