ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A daily look at the hot topics coming out of Kansas City Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University:
Safety Eric Berry arrived for practice in helmet and full pads, apparently ready for another day at the office. But Berry left the field early in the workout and didn’t return until his teammates were almost finished -- this time without helmet and pads. Coach Andy Reid said Berry has tendinitis in his injured heel. “He works a few days and then it bothers him and it inflames a little bit," Reid said. “Then we back off." Berry didn’t play in last week’s preseason opener against Cincinnati, and this routine calls into question his ability to withstand the rigors of a full season.
Reid indicated the starting offense, including quarterback Alex Smith, would probably play the entire first half in Sunday night’s game against Carolina in Charlotte. If the Cincinnati game is an indication, the starting offense needs the work. The Chiefs twice failed to convert on third down and short, and Smith lost a fumble against the Bengals.
Dropped passes haven’t been a particular problem in camp, but they were in a full-team drill toward the end of practice. Dwayne Bowe and Albert Wilson each dropped a pass, and later A.J. Jenkins deflected a pass that was intercepted by safety Husain Abdullah. Bowe and the other starting wide receiver, Donnie Avery, have dropped their share of passes over the years, so drops could be a problem for the Chiefs this season.
The Chiefs have to be relieved about left tackle Eric Fisher. He was held out of certain drills early in camp in order to protect the shoulder he had surgically repaired in the offseason. But then Fisher played every snap with the starting offense against the Bengals and hasn’t been held out of a drill in the four days since. Fisher’s ability to withstand the season is a big issue for the Chiefs. They have no obvious candidate as their third tackle, so an extended absence by Fisher or right tackle Donald Stephenson would be a problem.
The Chiefs’ next practice is Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. CT.