Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs' Berry Relishes Return to Arrowhead ; Safety Points to Atmosphere as 'Wonderful Feeling'

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs' Berry Relishes Return to Arrowhead ; Safety Points to Atmosphere as 'Wonderful Feeling'

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Eric Berry absorbed the pregame sights and sounds of Arrowhead Stadium as he arrived Friday evening for the Chiefs' preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The occasion marked Berry's first home game since Week 11 of the 2014 season, also against the Seahawks, before being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma after Week 12's contest.

So it is easy to see why Berry, who is now cancer-free, treasured the emotional moment a week after playing on the road in the preseason opener.

"Yeah, it was definitely just because just the ride through the stadium -- up to the stadium -- smelling the barbecue, seeing the fans out there waving," Berry said during his postgame media session. "I made sure my windows were rolled down so I could just take it all in and I drove extra slow this time. So it was definitely a wonderful feeling."

Fans were still filing into the stadium when Berry was shown on the Jumbotron to join teammates Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston and Dustin Colquitt as team captains at midfield for the pregame coin toss.

But the rousing applause and thunderous cheers felt in the press box gave the impression of a capacity-filled arena as the audience welcomed home a conquering hero.

"I'm happy for the kid," coach Andy Reid said of the moment during a Saturday afternoon media conference call. "I mean, that's where I'm at with him. I'm ecstatic that he can just be out there and play. I'm ecstatic that he's got life, and there's a point there you weren't sure when you initially hear about it. You're not sure is he going to live or die, that's kind of what it is. Now he's back playing, he's beat this thing and that's a beautiful thing anyway you look at it."

While he didn't record a tackle, Berry totaled 21 snaps, an increase of the eight snaps he played in the preseason opener, and he saw a lot of action in the nickel package with the second-team defense.

The Chiefs have eased in Berry's workload throughout training camp. And Friday night's snap count reflects the focus to closely oversee the former first-team All-Pro as he returns to top conditioning. …

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