Chiefs Managing Eric Berry’s Snap Count Toward Postseason, Avoiding Setbacks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eric Berry played 69 of the Chiefs' 80 defensive snaps in Sunday night's 38-31 loss to Seattle, yet found himself on the sideline during a final decisive defensive stand in the fourth quarter.

“I don't think twice about that,” Reid said Wednesday as the team prepares for their season finale against Oakland. “You've got to go off of his feel. He hasn't played in two years, so I'm aware of that. I don't want to take any steps backward and neither does he.”

Berry took a significant step forward in his second game back after missing most of the 2017 with a torn Achilles tendon and missing the first 13 games of this season with another heel injury. He played 30 snaps, all in the first half, in the team's Week 15 loss to the the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Chiefs defense faced 80 snaps against Seattle, tied for the fourth-most they've played this season. That inability to get off the field prevented Berry from playing a pivotal role in the crucial fourth quarter as the Chiefs mounted a comeback, Reid explained.

“He had every intention of going into the fourth quarter, but it was just so many snaps he can take right now and he's easing backing into it,” Reid said. “I have full trust in him. If he could have gone a half, we would have gone a half.”

Reid insists the Chiefs don't have a hard ceiling on snap counts for Berry, but he said the coaching and medical staff community him through the game to measure his comfort.

“We talked throughout the game, I knew we were pretty close there,” Reid said.

Reid reiterated the Chiefs have every intention to bring Reid back slowly after an extensive layoff. But the actions of both the player and the club over the past month remain consistent with ensuring Berry can handle a full game workload starting with the playoffs in January without suffering a setback.

“There's a lot to it, not just that part of the injury, but getting his body back into playing,” Reid said.