Hard Knocks ended this past Tuesday, concluding what was one of the most successful runs in series history. Of course, we're all biased in this building, but there's little question the five episode run resonated with many throughout the country. Episode five is, annually, the one that gets everyone a bit emotional. The cuts occur to trim the roster to 53 as we all wait with baited breath to see whether the personalities we've all grown to love make the squad. There isn't anyone that wants to see his/her guy get that call to meet with the GM and head coach. Ugh, so tough to watch.
But, to me, the most gut-wrenching moment occurred in episode four when head coach Bill O'Brien informed David Quessenberry that he was going to placed on the Non-football Injury list, ending any hope of playing in 2015. "DQ" fought cancer and won. He stared it down, went through unending rounds of chemo and beat it. He'd been working out with the training staff for the past few weeks and he's rounding back into the body that many of us remember him having when he arrived as a fresh faced rookie in 2013. He's currently in remission and working his tail off to get back on the field sooner rather than later.
When O'Brien told David what the team had planned, it was obvious that it hit DQ like a punch to the gut. All the guy did was beat cancer. Beating the Chiefs or the Jags or the Colts was nothing but the next challenge in his mind. He wanted to be on the field playing his game. He never questioned the decision and he's more resolute than ever to get back on the field. It's been a long time since he's put the pads on.
He made the 2013 roster and injured his foot days before heading to San Diego for the team's opening game, which cost him his rookie season. Then, lymphoma ravaged his body during OTAs in 2014, which forced him to fight for his life, much less a roster spot. No one can truly understand what Quessenberry has been through over the past 16-18 months.
Except for one guy that'll wear red on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry was diagnosed in the fall with lymphoma after he noticed a mass in his chest just following a Thursday game v. the Raiders. After he was diagnosed, I recalled a get well/inspirational message that David sent to Berry through social media.
Berry will be back in the lineup on Sunday for the Chiefs after a winter/spring full of treatments and recovery, as it's been an emotional whirlwind for him with the reception he's received throughout the league in the pre-season.
There are 30 different types of lymphoma and each one carries a different medical solution and length of recovery. That explains a bit why Berry will play on Sunday and DQ will assist the OL, more than likely down on the sideline.
I don't know if the two of them have met one another, but I'd imagine the two will get an opportunity on Sunday. Here's hoping that there's a meeting on the field in due time. Now, that's a story worth retelling.
Take a look back at the six-game series history between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs.