Chiefs’ Eric Berry not among veterans reporting for training camp

Sept. 13, 2015; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (29) on the sidelines during the second half against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Sept. 13, 2015; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (29) on the sidelines during the second half against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – A steady stream of Kansas City Chiefs veterans arrived Friday for training camp.

Safety Eric Berry, however, was not observed among the group of players during the hour-long media availability.

The Chiefs would not confirm if Berry reported, but coach Andy Reid will address the media following Saturday’s practice.

Berry has yet to sign his one-year, $10.8 million franchise tender and could choose to hold out of training camp or preseason games. He could then report before the start of the regular season to earn the full worth of the franchise tag.

In the meantime, the Chiefs cannot fine Berry, who also skipped organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp, for any missed time in training camp because he is not under contract.

Berry’s absence shouldn’t cause a distraction among his teammates.

“When it comes down to it, it is a business,” wide receiver Chris Conley said. “And in this business, it’s always next man up. That’s the way that they coach, that’s the way this team has always been. If one person goes down or is not there, another person stands up. We’ll be ready.”

Berry overcame Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015, less than a year after being diagnosed. He made his return to football by reporting for training camp with the rookies and quarterbacks. Berry appeared in all 16 regular-season games (15 starts), totaling 61 tackles (55 solo), two interceptions and 10 passes defensed.

His remarkable comeback proved one of the NFL’s best stories the past season. Berry was recognized with numerous postseason accolades, including a first-team All-Pro selection and being named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press.

ROOKIE PRACTICE NOTES

Rookie cornerback Tre Jones, who suffered a hamstring injury Thursday, did not practice Friday. Jones spent time in the rehabilitation tent and worked with a trainer off to the side.

Quarterback Alex Smith and cornerback Phillip Gaines were not the practice field Friday, but coach Andy Reid typically gives veterans the day off before the first full practice, which occurs Saturday.

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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