The Chiefs continue to exude extreme caution with All-Pro safety Eric Berry in his return from Achilles and heel injuries, but sources said they remain extremely confident that he will play this season.

Berry has not been practicing with the team but is focused on his return, and the Chiefs, who off to a flying 5-0 start and hopeful of making a deep run in the playoffs, are monitoring the situation on a weekly basis as they gauge when to clear him for a return. While he would clearly give their struggling defense an immediate boost, they have not circled a particular date for a return.

Berry, a candidate for defensive player of the year in the past, appeared in just one game, tearing his Achilles and ending his season after a triumphant 2016 season, when he overcame cancer to play at a Pro Bowl level. He is dealing with a heal condition that has complicated his return, but sources said the Chiefs very much still have him in their 2018 plans and expect him back at some point in the second half of the season.

Berry is one of the team's emotional leaders and his returns in the past have inspired his teammates and brought out the best in them. If he is able to provide a similar boost this season, it may be enough to get the Chiefs deeper than they have gone in a generation.

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