KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eric Berry took to the practice field as a full participant again on Thursday, increasing the hopes of his Chiefs' coaches and teammates the defensive leader will start in Sunday's AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium against the New England Patriots.
Head coach Andy Reid said he didn't see any rust from the veteran safety's lengthy layoff.
“He's looked good out there, so I see him out there looking like Eric Berry,” Reid said.
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said he won't likely know until game day whether Berry can play.
“He's back practicing and we all have our hopes that he's going to be able to make it,” Sutton said. “We'll just have to wait and see. We're practicing obviously a lot of people so in case he can't go or whatever, we go.”
Berry played parts of just two games during the regular season after a nagging heel injury sent him to the sideline during training camp. The Chiefs described the injury as day-to-day throughout the season, and Sutton says that remains the case in the playoffs.
“It's not coach talk, it's just how it is,” Sutton said. “We kind of just have to go and play each day, practice, plan the practice accordingly and go.”
Whether Berry plays or not, cornerback Steven Nelson his mentor still makes an impact both in practice and on game days.
“We call him coach in our room because he's so knowledgeable,” Nelson said. “He means a lot to our team and our defense. Whenever we can have him out there, it's a great thing.”
Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) both upgraded from limited workouts on Wednesday to full participants on Thursday.
While the Chiefs listed 52 of their 53 players as full participants Thursday, the Patriots did them one better. They removed defensive lineman Deatrich Wise (ankle) from their injury report on Thursday, meaning the entire roster practiced in full with no reported injuries.
Chiefs injury report
Did not practice: LB Dorian O'Daniel (ankle)
Full participant: S Eric Berry (heel), RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), RB Spencer Ware (hamstring), WR Tyreek Hill (thigh/heel), WR Sammy Watkins (foot), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb/shoulder), LB Anthony Hitchens (knee), S Jordan Lucas (shoulder) and OL Andrew Wylie (bicep)
Patriots injury report
The Patriots reported no injuries on Thursday.