ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Chiefs wrapped up training camp Thursday with a session designed to take it slow and easy since rookies arrived on July 20 for rookies, veterans on July 23 and 16 previous hard practices.
The players arrived in shorts and helmet and had a light workout for an hour and 20 minutes before cutting off practice, a big difference from the full pads and 2 ½ -hour workouts of recent weeks.
And the break was apparently well-deserved.
“I appreciate the way the players practiced this camp,” coach Andy Reid said. “They came in, they attacked it, they came in great shape, and then they attacked. We were able to keep the injuries at a minimum, which always a concern. We were able to get a lot of good work done with them.”
After a stretch when the Chiefs had a plethora of hamstring injuries, the team finished with none.
But the injury of note at the conclusion of camp surrounds All-Pro strong safety Eric Berry, who is dealing with tendonitis in his right heel. Berry missed the past two days of practice and will not play Sunday’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
“He’s been battling this thing,” Reid said. “We’ll let it get settled down before we bring him back.”
Reid also revealed wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been dealing with a finger injury throughout training camp.
“His finger is shot,” Reid said. “It’s been thrown out of place about 15 times. He’s not catching the ball, but he’s getting his work done. You can practice with that type of thing. It’s hard to do it when it’s your feet, something like that. I give credit to some of these guys that have pushed through some of the injuries.”
Bowe didn’t miss a training camp practice.
Meanwhile, starting right defensive end Mike DeVito (hand) missed the final week of practice and will not play Sunday, but Reid indicated optimism for the following week.
“DeVito will probably get a little work next week,” the head coach said.
Reid said defensive end Mike Catapano (illness) is “feeling better” after missing recent practices; inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin) will not play against the Panthers, and defensive end Kona Schwenke (shoulder) and cornerback Damond Smith (abductor strain) are unlikely to play Sunday.
Tight end Richard Gordon returned to the practice field after being excused the past two days.
Fullback Anthony Sherman wasn’t present after he and his wife welcomed the birth of their son Wednesday.
Day 17 practice observations
• Kicker Ryan Succop kicked for a second straight day after missing four days with a groin injury. Reid said Succop and rookie Cairo Santos will continue rotating. “I love watching the competition,” Reid said, “but they’re so close.”
• Even with a light practice in shorts and helmet, the rotation with the first-team defense continued at the cornerback position between Ron Parker, Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith.
• The Chiefs brought active duty members of the armed forces from nearby Army installations Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth on field at the conclusion of practice. The troops received a standing ovation from fans in attendance.
• The Chiefs enter the final year of a contract with the Missouri Western State University after spending five summers in St. Joseph, Mo. “I don’t do the business part of it,” Reid said. “I understand how that works, but we enjoy it here. I mean, we do. From a player, coach standpoint, we enjoy it. But I understand the business side of it, too.”