The Kansas City Chiefs celebrated one of the biggest wins in their history on Thursday after knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 42-27 but will have to play the rest of the season without one of their defensive stalwarts.
All-pro safety Eric Berry will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon during the game's fourth quarter, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid announced on Friday.
Berry was hurt while covering Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on a passing route. He hobbled at the end of the play and sat on the turf, and it took a cart to remove him from the field.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid suspected after the game that it was an Achilles injury, and he said Friday that an MRI exam confirmed the diagnosis.
Berry (6-0, 212) has played in 86 games (84 starts) in seven NFL seasons with the Chiefs (2010-16). His career numbers include 429 tackles (361 solo), 5.5 sacks, 14 interceptions (five return TDs), 53 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2016 he started all 16 games and finished second on the team with 77 tackles (62 solo), recorded nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and four interceptions, two returned for TDs.
The star safety earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice in 2016, followed by his fifth Pro Bowl berth. Berry’s other trips to the NFL’s annual all-star game came following his rookie year (2010), 2012, 2013 and 2015 seasons. Following the 2015 season, Berry was honored with the AP’s Comeback Player of the Year Award as well as being the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award after overcoming Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Berry earned the team’s Derrick Thomas Award this season, given to the team’s most valuable player, voted on by his teammates.
Berry has overcome plenty of hurdles in his career. He missed most of the 2011 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, then missed much of the 2014 season after he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
He signed a $78 million, six-year contract this past offseason.
Fourth-year safety Daniel Sorensen will replace Berry.
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