KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (ankle) is set to return to the lineup Sunday against the New York Jets.
Whether Berry resumes his starting role remains to be seen, as coach Andy Reid stopped short of declaring the All-Pro safety as the starter.
“Eric will play,” coach Andy Reid said Friday. “We’ll just see how he does, see how he feels.”
Berry has missed five straight games since suffering a high ankle injury in Week 2. He practiced on a limited basis the last three days and is officially listed as probable.
“Eric is getting back in the swing of things,” Reid said. “We’re glad he’s back and available.”
The Chiefs did not make Berry available to the media during Friday’s locker room media session.
Defensive back Ron Parker, who is second on the team in tackles (33), started at strong safety during Berry’s five-game absence.
Meanwhile, Marcus Cooper appears set to return to the starting lineup at left cornerback with Jamell Fleming (hamstring) ruled out.
Fleming took over as the starter in Week 7 against the San Diego Chargers, but suffered the hamstring injury last week against the St. Louis Rams.
Reid also wouldn’t commit to Cooper’s exact role, but appeared encouraged by Cooper’s performance in practice the past week.
“He’s done well,” Reid said. “Everybody plays, so they’re all rolling in there doing their thing. Everybody has a responsibility there.”
Cooper is ready to whatever the coaching staff requires.
“I’m just working,” he said. “Whatever the coaches give me, they give me the opportunity to get in, I just get in.”
The Chiefs will have moving pieces in the defensive secondary Sunday.
Fleming and cornerback Chris Owens (knee) are ruled out, and Berry is expected to play, making Parker’s role unknown.
Rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines (quad, probable) has played in Owen’s spot at the nickel position the last two games, so he’ll likely continue that role.
Parker lined up at cornerback during organized team activities (OTAs), training camp and the preseason, offering the Chiefs depth if needed Sunday.
NOTES: Wide receiver Donnie Avery (groin) and linebacker Josh Martin (hamstring) are out for Sunday’s game … Avery hasn’t played since undergoing sports hernia surgery on Oct. 3.