Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry made his triumphant return to Arrowhead Stadium on Friday after coming back from Hodgkin lymphoma, and the three-time Pro Bowler described how it felt following the Chiefs' 14-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
According to BJ Kissel of KCChiefs.com, the 26-year-old defensive back felt the love from Chiefs fans as soon as he approached the stadium Friday night:
All those emotions you have just riding through that parking lot, you have to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs family to understand how that feels. Everyone is grilling out and 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 a player is coming. They stop and they wave, and they just give so many words of encouragement. It's almost like a pre-pep game talk. Just seeing those guys out there, it does a lot for me emotionally.
Nick Jacobs of TWC Sports Kansas City provided video of Berry making his way through the tunnel prior to Friday's contest:
Berry played somewhat sparingly, as head coach Andy Reid continues to take a cautious approach, but the 2010 first-round pick believes that course of action has been beneficial to him thus far, per Kissel:
I think the coaches, they're doing a great job of easing me back in. It's actually good to get out there during the game and see everything live and see everything moving fast. It's good to see what I need to work on. Having those live bullets and being out there in the fire definitely helps you more, and it gets you ready for the season. I'm excited. Whatever they want to do, though, I’m ready for it. I'm just going to adjust and roll with it.
The former University of Tennessee standout missed 10 games last season and was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December. There were plenty of question marks regarding his ability to return to football in 2015 or perhaps ever again, but he has managed to beat the odds.
Berry's official on-field return came last week when the Chiefs played the Arizona Cardinals on the road, but there is no doubt that playing in front of the hometown fans Friday was even more special for him.
While Berry has a long road ahead of him in terms of returning to his past elite form and once again being a true difference-maker for the Chiefs, he appears to be on the right track, and he clearly has an entire city in his corner.
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