After getting one receiver back, the Kansas City Chiefs have to deal with another injury on Friday. Tyreek Hill returned to the practice field shortly after suffering a minor quad injury. During Friday’s practice, rookie receiver Mecole Hardman was seen leaving practice in the front seat of the medical cart.
Hardman was first seen in the medical tent being evaluated for injury. He was then seen being transported from the practice field. The Chiefs say that Hardman left practice due to an illness. He is not expected to be out for long.
This is good news for Kansas City. Hardman has not only had a strong camp at receiver, he has emerged as a valuable asset on special teams.
Hardman’s First Training Camp
Hardman was taken by the Chiefs in the second round of April’s draft. He was a standout when playing at Georgia. Hardman is a speedy wide receiver who can compliment Hill well. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Despite his visible talent, Hardman is not a finished product. At Georgia, Hardman struggled with drops and has been known to fumble. A wide receiver who needs some work can’t find himself in a better system than Kansas City. Head coach Andy Reid will find unique ways to get him involved in the offense. And who better to take throws from than Patrick Mahomes. The two have already developed some chemistry.
Hardman has had an impressive camp so far. In this video, obviously Mahomes is a point of emphasis. He is rolling to his right and makes an unbelievable throw on the run. It went about 50 yards in the air and landed right on the money. Another thing to take note of is Hardman’s speed. The separation between him and the cornerback cannot be ignored. This is something that should have the Chiefs salivating.
Before leaving practice with an injury, Hardman made an impressive catch during 7-on-7 drills. Mahomes threw a back shoulder pass and Hardman had to fully extend to make the grab. His instincts are strong, and he has an ability to go get the football despite being undersized.
Hardman’s Impact on Chiefs’ Offense
Hardman is currently listed as the Chiefs’ third wide receiver. He can be used as a slot receiver in the Chiefs’ offense that is full of weapons. Hill and Sammy Watkins are expected to have big years on the outside. Hardman has the ability to play inside and dominate opposing team’s lesser cornerbacks.
While at Georgia, Hardman averaged 16 yards per reception. He was a true deep all threat, and he is now in a professional system that loves throwing the ball down the field. Videos of Hardman making one handed catches in practice and before games while in college have gone viral. He has all the tools to become a productive receiver in the NFL, he just needs to put it all together.
Mahomes spread the ball around in his first season as a starter. This led him to have one of the best seasons in NFL history. Heading into 2019, Mahomes will have even more weapons. Watkins will be healthy, Hardman is entering his rookie season, and Hill and Travis Kelce are still in Kansas City. While this injury to Hardman should not be serious, it is something to keep an eye on moving forward.