The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NFL Foot Injury: KC Chiefs’ Eric Berry Struggles with Heel Tendinitis

Posted by on Thursday, August 21st, 2014


Sportscasters call Kansas City Chiefs’ Safety Eric Berry “The Fifth Dimension,” because his on-field antics are nearly impossible to replicate in video games. One ESPN analyst compared him to “a combination of Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, Reed, Rod Woodson and Nnamdi Asomugha.” So when we heard he was out with heel tendinitis… again… we understood just what a huge blow this could be for the team.

eric berry heel
Eric Berry is out for the second time this year with tendinitis in his right heel.
Image Source: Jeffery Beall via

Eric Berry Injury: What Happened?

The Kansas City Star reports that Eric Berry left practice on Tuesday, August 12th, after aggravating a nagging heel injury. The week before, he had missed two practices following a game. “He’s got tendinitis back there,” said coach Andy Reid. “He works a few days and it bothers him, so we back off,” he added.

Sports reporter Randy Covitz has compared the injury to the heel tendinitis that Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers suffered throughout 2012 training camp. It caused Flowers to miss nearly all of preseason and the season opener against Atlanta before he got a handle on the pain and started the next 15 games.

Not everyone is so lucky, however. A study published in the Foot & Ankle Specialist journal found that more than a third of NFL players who injured their Achilles tendons never returned to professional play. Those players who did return averaged a 50% reduction in their power ratings.

Heel Tendinitis & Tendon Ruptures

What Eric Berry currently suffers from is a condition that is characterized by inflammation from overuse. It is closely related to tendinosis, which is a degeneration of the Achilles tendon. In severe cases, the weakened, inflamed tendon can actually rupture — which requires surgery to repair, not to mention a lengthy recovery. As we just mentioned, many NFL players are unable to return once that type of injury occurs.

To treat Achilles tendinitis in its earlier stages, a rigorous icing routine, rest, and elevation are necessary. A walking boot may be recommended to immobilize the area and prevent further injury, while allowing the patient the ability to get around. Physical therapy focuses on lengthening the calf muscles and tendon, as well as low-impact cross-training like swimming and stationary biking. Aspirin and ibuprofen are used to manage the pain. Platelet rich plasma injections are being used to stimulate natural healing at the most progressive sports medicine centers — like The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC.

Achilles Tendon Injury Rehabilitation in New York City

We offer two state-of-the-art sports medicine centers — one in Manhattan and one in Westchester, NY — that can help you get on the road to recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our expert team of podiatrists, physical therapists, sports doctors, and board-certified surgeons are equipped to mitigate acute pain and help you make the most informed decision regarding your long-term heel health. For your convenience, you can book an appointment online with minimal wait time today.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.