Eric Berry to Make 2018 Debut vs. Chargers After Achilles, Ankle Injuries

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

Kansas City Chiefs Eric Berry #29 is seen against the New England Patriots during an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will reportedly start Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers in a key AFC West clash.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Berry will be on a "pitch count" in what will be his 2018 season debut.

The 29-year-old veteran has not played since rupturing his Achilles in the Chiefs' season-opening game of the 2017 campaign.

Berry is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro who is widely regarded as one of the NFL's best safeties of the past decade.

The 2010 first-round pick has faced no shortage of adversity during his career.

In addition to the Achilles injury knocking him out for most of the past two seasons, Berry was limited to just one game in 2011 with a torn ACL.

Berry then played just six games in 2014 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

He bounced back to be named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2015, and he was productive in 2016 as well before injuring his Achilles.

Eric Murray has made nine starts at safety for the Chiefs this season, registering 50 tackles and one interception.

He will likely assume a backup role Thursday with Berry starting alongside Ron Parker, but Murray should still see significant action with Berry playing limited snaps.

In 87 career regular-season games, Berry has reeled in 14 interceptions and returned five of them for touchdowns.

His return comes at an ideal time for KC since it holds just a one-game lead over a red-hot Chargers team that is threatening to seize the AFC West lead and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Since the Chiefs have already beaten the Chargers this season, they can clinch the division with a win on Thursday night.

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