The Chiefs have lost Pro Bowl strong safety Eric Berry for the rest of the season due to a mass discovered in his chest over the weekend.
“We don’t have a definitive diagnosis, but the leading consideration (for) what he has right now is lymphoma,” Chiefs head trainer Rick Burkholder said on Monday. “The next step in the process is to finish some testing. He’s about 75 percent done with the testing.”
Because of the initial diagnosis, the Chiefs have played Berry on the reserve-non-football illness, and he’s done for the remainder of the 2014 season and playoffs.
Berry complained of discomfort in his chest during Thursday night’s game in Oakland. He was examined by team doctors during and after the game, but continued to play. When he was still reporting pain on Friday, the Chiefs did an x-ray that came back negative according to Burkholder. Doctors decided to expand the testing and that’s when the mass was discovered on the right side of his chest.
“We got an MRI Friday afternoon and discovered he had a mass in his chest,” said Burkholder. “On Saturday further testing was done with CT scans, blood work and a PET scan.
“His family and our Chiefs family have decided to get him to Atlanta to the Emory University Hospital and see Dr. Christopher Flowers, a specialist in lymphoma. That evaluation will continue tomorrow through the next couple of days.”
The 2014 season has been one of injuries for Berry, starting with heel problems in training camp and then a high ankle-sprain in Game No. 2 against Denver. But all those pale in comparison to what he may be dealing with when it comes to lymphoma.
“IÂ am truly thankful forÂ all of the support fromÂ family, friends, coaches, teammatesÂ andÂ the entire Chiefs kingdom,” Berry said in a statement released by the Chiefs.Â ”At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game. ButÂ I understand thatÂ right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent. I have great confidence inÂ the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight.
“I believe that I am in God’s hands and I have great peace in that. I know my coaches and teammates will hold things down here the rest of the season and until I am back running out of the tunnel at Arrowhead. I am so thankful and appreciative of being a part of this franchise and playing in front of the best fans in the NFL. I will be back!”