KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Eric Berry returned to the practice field as a participant on Wednesday, suggesting the Chiefs' veteran safety plans to play in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots after missing Saturday's Divisional Playoff win over Indianapolis.
“We’ll just see how he feels as we go,” head coach Andy Reid said before Wednesday's practice. “Right now, he feels pretty good and we’ll see how he feels after practice and during practice.”
A week ago Berry practiced with the team in their initial tuneup for the Colts, but then missed the next two practices before sitting out the game. Reid said the defensive leader remains “day-to-day.” Reid planned to mix Berry in with the first-team defense while keeping tabs on how his balky heel feels.
“We have a great communication process going, so we’re going to keep that,” Reid said.
Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif also planned to mix in with the starters on Wednesday after the club moved him from injured reserve to the active roster on Tuesday. Reid said the offensive lineman made steady improvement since hitting the practice field three weeks ago.
“Now we just have to see how much he can do as we go forward,” Reid said. “It’s a day-to-day situation, that’s how we’ll handle it.”
The Chiefs made room for Duvernay-Tardif on the roster by waiving veteran safety Ron Parker. Reid said the moves doesn't necessarily mean more confidence Berry will play.
“We had to make a move, so that’s what happened with Ron,” Reid said. “We appreciate Ron, obviously. He’s one of our guys that’s been there a long time, but we had to make a move, so that’s the other end.”
Duvernay-Tardif and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday. Linebacker Dorian O'Daniel (calf/ankle) did not practice.
Patrick Mahomes Ready for Patriots' Surprises
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes saw first hand in the Week 6 meeting with New England just how tricky Patriots head coach Bill Belichick can be when throw new defensive looks at a quarterback.
“I would say them and Baltimore were probably the two biggest ones that threw out un-scouted looks the entire game,” Mahomes said. “I think that just comes with the veteran leadership on the coaching staff and the players on the team. They have the talent where they can play the man coverage and do that stuff, at the same time they can change up the look and do stuff they haven’t necessarily been doing all season long and still execute it.”
Mahomes threw two interceptions in the first half against the Patriots in Week 6 before rallying the Chiefs with 31 second-half points. He said even if the Patriots show him a look he hasn't seen on tape from them before, it helps if it's a look another team has showed him this season.
“For us it’s about finding ways to adjust to that as fast as possible and going out and having success and making those in-game adjustments in order to capitalize earlier in the game than we did last time,” Mahomes
Chiefs to Patriots: You don't suck
The five-time Super Bowl champions coming off back-to-back AFC titles played the underdog card this week, with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady claiming, “everybody thinks we suck and can't win any games.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce begged to differ.
“I don’t think they suck,” Kelce said. “I can tell you that.”
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman posted a “Bet Against Us” hype video on Twitter Wednesday. He's also selling “Bet Against Us” t-shirts on his website for $29.99.
Linebacker Justin Houston thinks Brady and his teammates are simply trying to motivate themselves.
“Everybody knows the Patriots, this is I think their eighth year making it to the AFC Championship, so I think it’s something for himself and the Patriots.”