Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Injury Report: Eric Berry’s Potential Absence Would Loom Large
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Eric Berry
The Kansas City Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites against the New England Patriots for Sunday’s AFC Conference Championship Game.
This will be the first conference championship game the Chiefs will ever host. They beat the Colts, 31-13, for their first home playoff win since January 1994 this past Saturday.
New England Patriots Injuries
- DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (ankle)
Notable players on IR: TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring), RB Jeremy Hill (knee), OT Isaiah Wynn (Achilles), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (shoulder), CB Eric Rowe (groin), WR Josh Gordon (suspended), WR Braxton Berrios (undisclosed)
The Patriots are almost fully healthy with the exception of Wise, who was unable to suit up last Sunday against the Chargers. The presence of Wise would certainly be appreciated for depth, although the absence of PFF’s No. 83 overall edge defender is certainly an obstacle the Patriots are capable of overcoming.
- FS Eric Berry (calf)
- RB Spencer Ware (hamstring)
Notable players on IR: WR De’Anthony Thomas (leg), LB Terrance Smith (knee), G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (leg)
The biggest injury to monitor in the entire round is Chiefs safety Eric Berry (calf). He managed to suit up in Weeks 15-16, but was inactive last Saturday after being listed as questionable.
Rob Gronkowski caught 3-of-4 targets for 97 yards against the Chiefs in Week 6 with Berry sidelined, but Gronk was held to just 33-scoreless yards on six targets during Week 1 of last season when the Chiefs’ All-World safety was healthy.
The only other injury the Chiefs defense needs to worry about is linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (Calf, ankle). Their backfield could use some depth courtesy of Spencer Ware (hamstring), although Damien Williams appears to be locked and loaded as the Chiefs’ feature back regardless of Ware’s game status.
Sammy Watkins (foot) played on 76-of-82 snaps (93%) against the Colts in his first action since Week 11.