There was little doubt about who it would be, but the NFL made it official on Saturday night at its “Honors” event, naming Kansas City Chiefs safety and former Vol safety Eric Berry the Comeback Player of the Year.
Berry was a shoe-in candidate after beating cancer in the form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to not only return to the field, but to thrive with the Chiefs in 2015, recording his fourth career Pro Bowl appearance and 2nd-Team All-Pro honors as well.
Berry, who can enter free agency following the 2015 season, recorded 55 tackles, two interceptions and tied his career-best number of 10 passes defended on the season. He earned 36 of the 50 votes for the award with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer coming in second with six votes.
“There were some tough times,” Berry said during his acceptance speech on Saturday evening at the NFL Honors event. “There were times I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. There were times of uncertainty. … There were a lot of lonely nights but my mom was right there. … When I lost my hair, (my dad) shaved his head so I wouldn’t be by myself and I love you to death for that.”
Berry, a native of Fairburn, Ga., played at Tennessee from 2007-09. His younger twin brother, Evan and Elliott Berry, are currently rising juniors for the Vols.