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Eric Berry continues to surpass all reasonable expectations for Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nobody really had any idea what the Kansas City Chiefs could expect this season from safety Eric Berry, who was cleared to return to football only days before the start of training camp after beating back cancer.

But what Berry is doing this season is beyond any reasonable expectations. Berry early in the season moved back into the starting lineup and last Sunday against the Chicago Bears he had his best game of the season.

Berry played so well that Pro Football Focus graded him higher than any of the NFL’s other safeties from last week’s games.

The Chicago game was also notable for another reason. Berry was in the game for all 78 of Chicago's offensive plays, the first time this season he was in the lineup for all of the opponent's snaps.

“What he’s done is fantastic and really a tribute to his will and his determination and his grit, all those things," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "I just think he’s actually getting into his groove as a player. Our hope, his hope, is that the thing keeps getting better and better."

When training camp started, the Chiefs thought anything they might get from Berry this season was a plus. They tried to fortify at safety during the offseason as if Berry wasn’t going to be available by re-signing Ron Parker and adding free agent Tyvon Branch.

Credit for his comeback goes not only to Berry, but the Chiefs. They recognized he was ready for more than the limited work they were giving him early in training camp and the preseason. He went over a period of weeks from playing in certain passing situations to playing on all downs.

“We were kind of going off him, following his lead,’’ Sutton said. “Then we started segmenting him in, saying ‘OK, you’re in on this package’ and then, ‘You’re in on this package.’ Eventually, he ended up in all the packages.

“It was just kind of a gradual thing where he felt good, he felt comfortable doing it and felt comfortable from a physical standpoint that he could sustain that and maintain that."