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Kansas City Chiefs OTA 2012: Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis Continue Recovery

Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis are present at Kansas City's OTAs, but still are recovering from injuries.

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If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to compete in the revamped AFC West (uh, hello, Peyton Manning), they'll need to be at full strength and healthy -- specifically on defense. Both of Kansas City's starting safeties, Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis, are recovering from injuries suffered in the 2011 season, but both are around the team for the OTAs, and working with trainers.

When their first offseason practice began earlier in the week, Chiefs safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis were among a small group of players who headed to the edge of the field to work with the trainers.

Both players are recovering from injury. That, plus a hamstring injury to rookie DeQuan Menzie, forced the Chiefs to go with the unlikely duo of cornerback Travis Daniels and undrafted rookie Terrance Parks at safety.

Obviously, it will be a problem if neither Berry nor Lewis are ready to rock and roll in September when the season kicks off. Berry, though, is optimistic that he'll be healthy:

That arrangement is fine with the Chiefs for now, when practice is conducted in shorts. It becomes a concern in late July if the Chiefs open training camp in St. Joseph without either Berry and Lewis.

Berry has said he will be ready to play then. Lewis, a fellow starting safety who had postseason surgery to repair what he said was a torn pectoral muscle, wasn't as definitive.

"Whenever the trainers say it's cool for me, whenever they release me," Lewis said when asked when he would be available to play. "I'm just playing it by ear, waiting it out. Everything is going smooth, according to plan, so whenever they're ready to release me, that's when it is. I'm just going on their call."

Berry's and Lewis' progress throughout the summer as they look to return from injury is no doubt a storyline that the Chiefs and Chiefs fans should follow closely.

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