For Eric Berry, emotions were different this time, but still present

Eric Berry played at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since last season's cancer diagnosis. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The venue was different for Eric Berry and so were the emotions. He was at home, Arrowhead Stadium, where he’s been a favorite of Kansas City Chiefs fans since he arrived in 2010.

Berry wasn’t making his return to game action, as he did in last week’s preseason opener at the Arizona Cardinals. But he was returning home, which made Friday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks in its own way as emotional as last week.

“Yeah, it definitely was,’’ Berry said after the Chiefs’ 14-13 win over the Seahawks. “The ride to the stadium, up to the stadium, seeing the fans out there waving, I made sure my windows were rolled down so I could take it in and I drove extra slow this time.

“All those emotions and things that come along with the game, you get it just riding through the parking lot. You have to be a Kansas City Chief to understand how that feels. Like I said, everybody is grilling out, having a good time. The kids are out there with jerseys on throwing the football. But every time you come through it’s like they know when the players come and they stop and they wave and they just give so many words of encouragement on the way to the stadium, it’s almost like a pregame pep talk. So just seeing those guys out there does a lot for me emotionally.’’

Berry missed that since last Nov. 16, his last game at Arrowhead and ironically against the Seahawks. Shortly afterward, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Nine months later, he made his triumphant return. The Chiefs honored Berry before the game with a display on the Arrowhead video board and the crowd cheered loudly.

Like last week, Berry had little impact on the game. Playing a handful of snaps in nickel situations in the first half and then one series at free safety with the backups in the second, Berry was not involved in any tackles.

For now, at least, that was enough.

“I think the coaches are doing a good job of just easing me back in,’’ Berry said.