Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to media members on February 2, and he started with an injury update as he typically does.
Four key contributors were listed as a “did not practice” on Wednesday, February 1, and we got some good news and bad news regarding that group which includes cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney. We’ll start with the positives, and there was more of that than there were negatives.
Although none of the four practiced on Thursday, Reid noted that Toney is “close” to returning from his ankle sprain. He also provided a welcomed update on Smith-Schuster. “I think he will be able to [practice in Arizona],” the Chiefs HC admitted. “He’s in a good place, the main thing is that we let that [knee swelling] calm down. Right now, it’s doing great, so [we’re] very optimistic right now. And his ‘want to’ is all-in there, but we’ll just see where it goes.”
With a full week and change to go before the Super Bowl, that’s a great sign for Toney and Smith-Schuster. Sneed is in a similar boat as Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney reported that he “spotted” the integral defensive back “warming up” with his teammates.
Based off that, Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman wrote that “this suggests that Sneed is progressing through the league’s [five-step] concussion protocol.” It’s hard to say for sure which step he’s currently at, but a light warm up would most likely profile as either step one or step two.
Chiefs’ Andy Reid ‘Doubts’ WR Mecole Hardman Will Be Ready for Super Bowl vs Eagles
And now, the bad news. Hardman’s update was definitely the toughest to digest as the impending free agent has done everything he can to work his way back onto the field in recent weeks — pushing for 15 offensive snaps during the AFC Championship.
“He did a great job of playing in that game the other day, very courageous effort,” Reid praised on Hardman before getting to the negative. “My heart goes out to the kid because he busted his tail. He is hurting though today.”
Later, when pressed on his Super Bowl availability, Reid revealed the unfortunate reality for Hardman.
“I think it’ll be tough for him,” he voiced candidly. “I doubt he’ll make the Super Bowl but listen, like I said — he was not going to be denied the other day [in the AFC Championship Game], and it’s a tribute to the kid. He pushed himself like no other and he’s a tough nut. He’s all smiles with ya but when it comes down to playing [or not playing], he is a tough, tough kid.”
There you have, the threesome of Toney, Smith-Schuster and Sneed appear to be trending toward playing against the Philadelphia Eagles — especially Toney — and Hardman looks unlikely to suit up on February 12 barring a dramatic change in his status.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Updates Media on Ankle Ahead of Super Bowl
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II spoke right after Reid and of course, the first question from reporters was about his high-ankle sprain — asking if the superstar took any steps backward in his recovery by playing against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“No, I don’t think so,” Mahomes responded bluntly. “I just was generally sore I think from the game [overall]. It was a physical game. I mean, my whole body was a little sore, so I don’t think I had any step backwards or anything like that — no reaggravation of the ankle. Just the little bit of pain I had playing with it. Other than that, I feel like I’m in a good spot.”
Mahomes credited the final game-winning scramble on his bad ankle to “adrenaline” and trying to run “faster than the guy [that’s] chasing me.” He made it sound as if that last part has been a general rule of thumb throughout his career.