Eric Berry Injury: Achilles tear recovery time

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04: Eric Berry /

How long does it take a player to recover after suffering an Achilles injury?

When a player goes down, fans instantly want to know when he’ll be back. That sounds really obvious to type out but it’s true. Eric Berry needing to be carted off the field during the Kansas City Chiefs Week 1 upset over the New England Patriots was the latest example of fans scrambling to figure out how long he’ll be out before it’s actually announced.

The assumption is that Berry has an Achilles injury, which is one of the more severe injuries a football payer can suffer. But how long will he be sidelined?

What’s the recovery time?

That all depends on the type of injury to the Achilles. There’s such a thing as just tweaking it — as totally medical and scientific as that sounds. Berry has actually struggled with tight Achilles in the past but it hasn’t required him to miss significant playing time as a result.

Of course a sore Achilles and a torn Achilles are two different situations.

If Berry has a torn Achilles, then he will without a doubt miss the remainder of this season. The recovery time after surgery is at least six weeks, and that’s just with the walking boot. It could take up to 12 weeks before the walking boot comes off and then the rehabbing of the tendon starts. That process is one you don’t want to rush, as improper rehabbing of a surgically repaired tendon could lead to it tearing again, and the process is even harder to bounce back from.

A lesser case scenario would be if this was a partial tear of the Achilles. If that happens, the tendon can still withstand the pressure of being used to walk but rest will be required for it to heal. Since it’s only a partial tear, the recovery time is cut in half. It should still be approached with caution after that though, as a complete tear is a serious risk.

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Lucky for the Chiefs, this injury happened at the earliest possible time in the season. Berry is still going to be a force on the sideline and in the locker room, so it’s not like the injury takes him out of the psyche of the team that way. He’ll be missed on the field but there’s a chance that he could be back for the playoffs. If Berry takes the maximum amount of time in a walking boot, he should be out of it by the beginning of December, with a month and a half to rehab.