The Kansas City Chiefs announced on July 28 that safety Eric Berry is cleared to return to practice after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last December.
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is back.
The Chiefs issued a press release on KCChiefs.com on July 28 saying physicians cleared Berry to report to training camp on Wednesday:
"After several rounds of thorough testing and a process that concluded late Tuesday evening, Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been cleared to take the practice field with the club for Wednesday morning's practice with quarterbacks, rookie and injured players."
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave The Kansas City Star's Terez A. Paylor an update on Berry's status during training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. on July 28:
"Eric's going through some tests right now. We should have an answer for you on Eric within a day here. So far everything's positive. But we don't want to give you anything until we have everything.
"He's going through the physical. He has had some physical tests that they put him through, just to see where he's at. We haven't finished all that but we'll get that to you. We're not going to hide anything from you on this.
"He's kept himself in good shape, believe it or not. He's really done a good job there. But like I said, he's got to go through all the formalities here."
Paylor then asked Reid what it would mean for the Chiefs if Berry returned sooner than later.
"Obviously that's what we all want to see," Reid told The Kansas City Star. "We're all fans of his in this situation."
Doctors diagnosed the 26-year-old Berry with Hodgkin's lymphoma in Dec. 2014. A month before that, Berry complained of chest discomfort after a game against the Oakland Raiders, per Paylor.
The Kansas City Star update says physicians then examined the mass on the right side of his chest and concluded Berry has lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
Berry issued a statement shortly after his diagnosis, per ESPN's Adam Teicher:
"I am truly thankful for all of the support from family, friends, coaches, teammates and the entire Chiefs kingdom. At first I was in shock with the diagnosis...and did not even want to miss a game. But I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent.
"I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God's hands and I have great peace in that.
"I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!"
The Chiefs safety underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment in his hometown of Atlanta, per Teicher.
Berry told his teammates about his lymphoma diagnosis. The Chiefs then placed him on their non-football illness list. By doing so, Kansas City wasn't obliged to pay Berry his salary, but it did for the six weeks he spent on the list, anyway, per Paylor.
According to Cancer.org (via The Kansas City Star), patients diagnosed with this type of cancer have a high survival rate.
The five-year survival rate for those in stages one and two is 90 percent. Those in stage three have an 80 percent survival rate while the rate for those in stage four is 65 percent, per Cancer.org.
Since the news of Berry's illness broke, he and his closest confidants have remained silent regarding his status. However, the Chiefs have maintained he has progressed all this time, per The Kansas City Star.
Berry is entering his fifth season, all spent with the Chiefs. He has amassed 289 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries eight interceptions and three defensive touchdowns, per ESPN stats. KCTV5
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