07/31 14:35 CDT Chiefs safety Berry leaves practice with injury
Chiefs safety Berry leaves practice with injury
AP Sports Writer
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) --- Eric Berry made the first trip to the injury tent.
Marcus Cooper followed soon afterward.
David and DeMarcus Van Dyke, a pair of cousins trying to earn jobs in the
Chiefs defensive backfield, were already milling around it. And missing from
the scene entirely was safety Sanders Commings, who was headed for surgery on a
broken bone in his right foot.
Apparently, Chiefs defensive backs deserve hazard pay these days.
The biggest cause for concern was Berry, their Pro Bowl safety, who hurt
himself during a drill early in Thursday's workout. He was checked by trainers
in the tent before conferring with some more team officials on the sideline,
and then driven in a cart to the locker room.
Berry was able to put weight on the leg, but was noticeably limping, and Chiefs
coach Andy Reid said he was still awaiting word on the severity of the injury.
"It's no Achilles, it's no ligament tear," Reid said. "We'll have to see."
Later in practice, it was Cooper who limped over to the tent. Trainers spent
several minutes probing his hamstring before loading him into another cart and
sending him to the locker room.
Those two injuries, combined with the plethora of ailments that have already
besieged the Chiefs' defensive backfield, have left them perilously thin at a
position that was already causing concern.
The secondary struggled against Indianapolis in last season's playoff loss, and
it hardly helped matters when the team released Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon
Flowers in a cost-saving move.
One of the guys they were counting on to compete for the safety job was
Commings, who missed his rookie season with a broken collarbone.
He got a late start to camp following another injury, and then broke his foot
when he was juked to the ground by running back Jamaal Charles in practice
Wednesday. It was unclear whether the Chiefs plan to put him on injured reserve.
"We'll see," Reid said. "Normally if you break a bone it takes a while."
The Van Dykes were continuing to rehab their own hamstring injuries off to the
side Thursday, which means that of the 18 defensive backs in camp, only 13 of
them were on the field by the end of practice. That includes Damond Smith, who
was signed just this week.
"That happens," Reid said. "It happens as you go through camp, your legs get
tired. You get those strains, those tight hamstrings. We'll be fine. We'll push
With whomever they can manage to suit up.
Daniel Sorensen, an undrafted rookie out of BYU, moved into Berry's spot when
he went down on Thursday. Jerron McMillian and Malcolm Bronson have also been
spending time at safety.
"You know, tomorrow I might be running with the 3s," Sorensen said of his
unexpected move into the starting lineup. "That's just how it goes."
The cornerback position was already in a state of flux even before Cooper got
Picked up off waivers last season, Cooper had moved into the starting lineup in
place of Flowers, while Ron Parker had relegated veteran Sean Smith --- the
other starter a year ago --- to the second team. Chris Owens has been working
primarily as the nickel, and rookie Phillip Gaines has been getting reps at
several positions as he tries to turn some heads.
"The one thing he has, he does have excellent speed," defensive coordinator Bob
Sutton said. "He does have that ability to make up if he gets behind guys and
make plays like that."
That ability would have come in handy last season, when Chiefs defensive backs
were spending so much time trying to chase down wide receivers.
After their bye in Week 10, when they were sitting 9-0, the Chiefs gave up at
least 287 yards passing in every game. That included 395 yards to the Chargers'
Philip Rivers, 452 to the Broncos' Peyton Manning, and 346 yards to the
Then there was their playoff meltdown in Indianapolis, when Andrew Luck threw
for 363 yards and rallied the Colts from a 38-10 second-half hole for a
dramatic 45-44 victory.
"This is a competitive unit," Sutton said. "Those guys have got to drill down."
Notes: DL Mike Catapano (illness) missed practice for the second straight day.
... WRs Mark Harrison and A.J. Jenkins missed time with hamstring injuries. ...
Former Packers general manager Ron Wolfe, a mentor to current Chiefs GM John
Dorsey, was a guest at practice Thursday.