Eric Berry out for Season, Diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2014

USA Today

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will miss the rest of the 2014 NFL season due to a non-football-related illness. Berry has a mass in his chest which has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Continue for updates

 

Monday, Dec. 8

Berry Diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma

After being ruled out for the season with a mass in his chest, Eric Berry has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, the Kansas City Chiefs confirmed in a release on the team's website.

"This is a diagnosis that is very treatable and potentially curable with standard chemotherapy approaches," Christopher R. Flowers, MD, director of the Emory Lymphoma Program at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute, added in the Chiefs' statement. "The goal of Mr. Berry’s treatment is to cure his lymphoma and we are beginning that treatment now."

Berry also issued a statement in the release:

My family and I are very grateful for the amount of support we have received over the last couple of weeks. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate all the words of encouragement, the blessings and well wishes. I want to thank the Emory University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Flowers and his team, for all of their hard work and effort in diagnosing and creating a plan for me to battle this thing. I will embrace this process and attack it the same way I do everything else in life. God has more than prepared me for it. For everyone sharing similar struggles, I’m praying for you and keep fighting!

 

Sunday, Nov. 30

Chiefs Honor Berry With T-Shirts Before Game vs. Denver

Adam Teicher of ESPN reported on t-shirts Chiefs players wore as they prepared for Sunday Night Football vs. Denver:

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Berry wanted to play against Denver:

 

Monday, Nov. 24

Berry Out For Season After Mass Discovered In Chest

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs placed Berry on the NFI list Monday, which signals an end to his 2014 campaign:  

Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reported that a mass was discovered on Berry's chest, which the Chiefs medical staff believes could be lymphoma:

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder also posted this message and image via Twitter:

Chad Speck, Berry's agent, shared his thoughts on Twitter as well:

Head coach Andy Reid offered encouraging words for the 25-year-old safety, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com:

Berry released a statement on the Chiefs' official website:

I am truly thankful for all of the support from family, friends, coaches, teammates and the entire Chiefs kingdom. At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game, but I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent. I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight. I believe that I am in God's hands and I have great peace in that. I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!

Berry appeared in six games this year, making 37 combined tackles and defending two passes. The three-time Pro Bowler was a key cog in the Chiefs defense, which ranks eighth overall this year in total defense.

The impact Berry's absence will have on Kansas City takes a back seat to his overall health, however.

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