KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs return from a bye with good news in preparation for Week 7’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
Strong safety Eric Berry (ankle) will practice Monday, coach Andy Reid said during a morning conference call with beat writers.
Still, how much Berry does during Monday’s workout and throughout the week will go a long way in determining his status for Sunday’s game.
“We’ll just see how he does from there,” Reid said.
Berry hasn’t played since suffering a high ankle sprain against the Denver Broncos in Week 2. Ron Parker, a versatile defensive back, has filled in for the All-Pro safety and will continue that role if Berry can’t play.
Meanwhile, the news doesn’t appear good for cornerback Chris Owens, who suffered a bone bruise to his knee and sprained a lateral collateral ligament in Week 5.
Reid said “it’s a stretch” for Owens, and the Chiefs could either turn to rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines, who returns from a concussion suffered in Week 5, or cornerback Jamell Fleming at the nickel position.
“We got some guys that can go in there and do that,” Reid said, “that have worked there. We’ll just see how it all works out here.”
As for Owens, the road to recovery appeared optimistic.
“He actually feels pretty good,” Reid said. “There’s nobody more gritty than that kid.”
Third-year running back Cyrus Gray, who suffered a fractured hand in Week 5, will practice this week with protection, either in the form of a cast or brace.
“He can move around,” Reid said of Gray.
The Chiefs haven’t made a move on starting wide receiver Donnie Avery, who underwent sports hernia surgery on Oct. 3.
“He’s out right now,” Reid said, “but we haven’t IRd him.”
Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins started in place of Avery in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Inside linebacker Joe Mays (wrist) can start practicing this week as part of his injured reserve designated for return status.
The Chiefs, however, aren’t anticipating Mays to get in practice work, as Reid said the seventh-year pro isn’t “quite ready yet.”
While Reid indicated Mays is making progress, the potential return will apparently have to coincide with a full medical recovery.
“I just know when he’s kind of scheduled to get himself back,” Reid said. “It’s not this week; I’m saying from a medical standpoint.”
Recovery from wrist surgery to repair ligament damage varies, but a best case scenario is typically eight to 10 weeks.
Mays, who underwent surgery in late August, is eligible to return to the active roster after spending eight weeks on the injured reserve list.
Josh Mauga, who currently leads the Chiefs in tackles with 36 (33 solo), has started in Mays’ place.