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After week off to get healthy, Chiefs hope to have Eric Berry back for Chargers game

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Andy Reid won his first 13 games the week after a bye. He's lost his last two.

That doesn't mean he changed anything this season.

Reid gave his team nearly a full week off, despite a frustrating loss at San Francisco that sent the Kansas City Chiefs into their bye with a 2-3 record. That is a departure from many coaches who give their players only a couple of extra days off.

"Listen, I've done it this way for a long time and it's been fairly successful," Reid said. "Sometimes I think it's good to step away whether you're doing well or not doing well. Coming off a win or a loss I think sometimes it's good to get away and get recharged."

Reid took the same approach during his long tenure in Philadelphia. He picked it up in part by working under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay.

"Mike did it actually one time in Green Bay and gave the players more time than what they normally get," Reid said on a conference call with reporters. "Normally they'd practice during the week and he gave them — might have been a week, but more than one or two days off. I thought it could kind of rejuvenate and get them back healthy."

In that respect, it appears to have worked perfectly this time.

Reid said that Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry planned to return to practice Monday and could be available for Sunday's game in San Diego. Berry has been out since spraining his right ankle in a loss at Denver on Sept. 14.

"We'll see how he does from there," Reid said.

Ron Parker has filled in admirably for Berry in his absence, but he's more adept at playing cornerback. By moving Parker to safety, the Chiefs were perilously thin elsewhere in the defensive backfield, especially after nickel back Chris Owens went down.

Owens is still sidelined by a knee injury, Reid said. Wide receiver Donnie Avery also was scheduled to miss Monday's workout after surgery for a sports hernia.

Middle linebacker Joe Mays, who broke his wrist in training camp, is eligible to return this week after landing on injured reserve with the designation to return. But Reid said that Mays is still not ready to begin practicing after surgery last month.

"He's getting there," Reid said. "It's not this week."

Otherwise, Reid said the banged-up Chiefs are finally starting to get healthy. They've played through injuries to running back Jamaal Charles and the loss of several starters to injured reserve, including linebacker Derrick Johnson and right tackle Jeff Allen.

Yet they are still off to a 2-3 start, despite a brutal schedule. After playing the Chargers, they have a trio of games against the struggling Rams, Jets and Bills, which could give the Chiefs a good dose of momentum heading into a Week 11 matchup against Seattle.

"We had a lot of new faces in there so you don't know how those guys are going to play when they get an opportunity. And I think they stepped up and showed they can play and compete. They've got a certain toughness about them, which I like," Reid said.

"Some of the fundamentals and techniques we've got to get corrected here," he added, "but that grit, that's a tough thing to coach."

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