Chiefs’ Berry misses practice after heel injury resurfaces
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs safety Eric Berry missed practice Friday after the heel injury that kept him out most of the season acted up, leaving his status for Sunday’s pivotal game against Oakland in question.
The Chiefs (11-4) can clinch the AFC West and No. 1 seed in the playoffs by beating the Raiders.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the soreness was similar to what Berry experienced early in training camp. The three-time All-Pro, who missed most of last season with an Achilles’ tendon injury, returned to practice over the summer but was sidelined early in camp. He did not play until Week 15 against the Chargers, and had been increasing his playing time slowly the past couple of games.
“He’s going to try to see if he feels better. That’s what he is going to do right now,” said Reid, who listed Berry as questionable on the final injury report. “We’ll just see how he is as time goes on.”
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins remained out of practice with his foot injury, while running backs Spencer Ware and Darrel Williams were listed as questionable with hamstring injuries.
Meanwhile, top cornerback Kendall Fuller is hopeful of playing after missing a game with a hand injury. Fuller had surgery about two weeks ago and thought he could play last week in Seattle, but the pain from the recovery was too much when game time rolled around.
“I feel like he did a good job,” Reid said. “He worked through it and didn’t miss a beat.”
Reid also felt good about the first week back at practice for Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who has been on injured reserve with a broken bone in his leg. The starting right guard was injured in Week 5 against Jacksonville, but the team hoped he would return in time for the playoffs.
He has a three-week practice window in which the Chiefs must decide whether to activate him.
In other news, the agent for Damien Williams announced that the Chiefs had signed their backup running back to a two-year contract extension that could be worth up to $8.1 million
Williams was signed to compete for a third-string job in training camp. But when the Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt following his off-the-field issues, and Ware went down with hamstring and shoulder injuries, it pushed the former Dolphins running back into a feature role.
The 27-year-old Williams ran 13 times for 103 yards last week against the Seahawks, and he has three touchdowns on the ground and another through the air over the past three games.
Williams, who signed this season for $1.2 million with just $60,000 guaranteed, also helps to solidify the next season. Ware and Charcandrick West are due to become a free agent, leaving Darrel Williams as the only other running back signed next season.
“Damien’s really done a nice job,” Reid said. “He was rewarded for that with a nice contract. It allows him to be on the football team here for a little bit here. I’m happy for him because he’s earned it. He’s gone out and played special teams and excelled on special teams. And was given an opportunity to play the running back position.”