Ron Parker's versatility is the key to survival in the secondary

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of options in their defensive backfield as they go through training camp. They can go six deep at cornerback and at safety without having to sacrifice greatly in quality.

But when the regular season opens, they will be without starting cornerback Sean Smith, who is suspended for the first three games. They might be without safety Eric Berry, who only recently was declared cancer free and cleared by the Chiefs for practice.

The versatility of Ron Parker will help the Chiefs get through their shortage. Parker can play both safety and cornerback. Parker has been a safety throughout this year’s camp but the Chiefs may come to him sometime soon and ask him to take a few practice snaps at cornerback.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,’’ Parker said. “All of that situations I’ve been through last year, I’m pretty sure nothing would be new to me.

“No one [has] really told me a specific position. I just do what’s asked and I take it from there.’’

Parker started games for the Chiefs last season at cornerback and safety. The Chiefs prefer him as a safety, where he had many of his better games in 2014.

But Parker, playing cornerback, was a key figure for the Chiefs in last season’s win over the Buffalo Bills. Parker broke up three passes late in the game, two while covering Sammy Watkins, to help the Chiefs hold off the Bills.

Parker and Husain Abdullah are the Chiefs' starting safeties. They have Berry, Tyvon Branch, Kelcie McCray and Daniel Sorensen in reserve.

Smith and Phillip Gaines are the starting cornerbacks, but they also have Jamell Fleming, Marcus Cooper and rookies Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson.