Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced during his press conference on January 17 that Edwards-Helaire (high ankle sprain) as well as tight end Jody Fortson (IR, elbow) will return to practice leading up to the team’s Divisional Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
CEH and Fortson returning to practice means their 21-day practice window to be activated from injured reserve will now open.
Edwards-Helaire suffered a high-ankle sprain during Kansas City’s 30-27 win over the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11. Fortson suffered the elbow injury during Kansas City’s 30-24 overtime victory against the Houston Texans.
Reid: Chiefs to Back Off of Mecole Hardman
Along with injury updates on Edwards-Helaire and Fortson, Reid also gave an update on receiver Mecole Hardman (pelvis), who was activated from IR on January 4 but didn’t play in the Chiefs’ Week 18 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Reid said Hardman has “been pushing it hard and it’s not responding the way we want it to,” according to Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star. Because of that, Hardman won’t practice on Tuesday, per Reid.
While having Hardman sidelined and taking up a roster spot isn’t ideal, the Chiefs had no choice but to activate Hardman on January 4, otherwise, he had to miss the remainder of the season.
Here’s to hoping Hardman turns the corner and can make an impact for Kansas City during its championship run.
Edwards-Helaire’s Role Unclear Moving Forward
After scoring 3 total touchdowns (2 receiving, 1 rushing) in the Chiefs’ 41-31 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4, Edwards-Helaire’s production dipped over the next couple of games to the point that he was supplanted by rookie Isiah Pacheco as Kansas City’s RB1 in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. From that point until he landed on IR, CEH registered 10 total touches and 28 total yards over 3 games, per Pro Football Reference.
With Pacheco being the clear-cut RB1 and Jerick McKinnon evolving into one of the most explosive receiving threats out of the backfield in the NFL this season, Edwards-Helaire will likely have a very limited role in the running and passing game once he returns.
Twitter Reacts to Reid’s Injury Updates
Twitter users reacted to Reid’s injury updates following Kansas City’s playoff bye.
“If KC can get past Jags and an extra week does the trick, don’t hate not having much film of Mecole and [Kadarius] Toney on the field at once going into AFCCG….” one Twitter user wrote.
“I think that’s ok this week. Let [Mecole Hardman] heal and see how he is the following,” another user wrote. “Offense has looked solid while he’s been out.”
“Hardman probably won’t play Saturday, so I wouldn’t expect it,” another user wrote.
“Not that I think Mecole playing or not makes a difference but I just want to know how he got hurt. He’s been out for like 7 weeks now,” another user wrote.
“Would have liked to see something like this about a certain player in Baltimore from the head coach…but…sigh,” another user wrote.