ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs were initially relieved early in training camp when they learned that an injury to safety Eric Berry was minor and that Berry would miss little practice time.
But since then:
1. They changed the area of the injury from ankle to heel.
2. They held him from practice for a couple of days afterward and later in the preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. He was mysteriously listed as second team on the latest depth chart issued by the Chiefs.
4. Berry arrived at practice on Tuesday fully dressed and apparently ready to work. But he soon left the field only to return shortly before his teammates were finished, this time without helmet and pads.
So what are we to make of this? Is it time to panic about Berry’s ability to withstand the rigors of a full season?
It’s probably too early for panic. The Chiefs clearly aren’t panicking. They brought in another veteran backup safety in Jonathon Amaya, but if they were concerned about Berry’s long-term welfare, they’d be doing more in their search for help at the position.
But the Chiefs should be at least wondering about Berry. They described his latest absence from practice as an issue with tendonitis and that Berry might need the occasional day off when the injured area gets irritated.
For now, that’s a livable situation. They can get a long look at his backup, undrafted rookie Daniel Sorensen. Sorensen has showed good instincts and ball skills during camp, though he was late getting back and providing help on a 53-yard pass from Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.
“He actually played pretty good,’’ coach Andy Reid said of Sorensen. “He had a lot of good snaps. It was good for him to get in there and get that experience. It looks like he’s a solid football player. We need to see more. It looks like he’s a smart kid, solid player, was a good tackler in that game, did well in his coverages.’’
Sorensen may have enough to work with that he could eventually become a solid backup and special teams player. But the Chiefs don’t need him starting this season, particularly if the spot he would be taking is Berry’s.