There are a few Kansas City Chiefs injuries that just disappeared off the map this season, and none did so more than tight end Blake Bell.
The blocker lovingly known as the “Belldozer” has missed the entire season with a hip injury to this point. On December 20, head coach Andy Reid finally updated Chiefs Kingdom on Bell with third-string TE Jody Fortson ailing from an elbow issue.
“There’s a chance that [Bell returns in Week 16], yes,” Reid responded to one reporter, but he didn’t go into much detail beyond that. Later, another update significantly improved the long-lost tight end’s odds of suiting up versus the Seattle Seahawks.
Chiefs Update Fans on Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Blake Bell
The KC Star’s Herbie Teope shared the news on Twitter, relaying: “Chiefs TE Blake Bell (hip) spotted on the practice field during the segment open to the media. That’s a sign the Chiefs have designated him as return to practice, opening the 21-day evaluation window to decide to activate him from injured reserve.”
It’s the first step in getting the Belldozer back on the field and with Fortson seemingly doubtful according to Reid, his services could certainly come in handy this week. Media members also asked about running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on the Tuesday before Christmas weekend, but his prognosis was less immediate.
“He’s getting close [to returning],” Reid replied on CEH. “He’s not quite there yet but he is getting close, and he’s working his tail off. We’ll see, [but] he won’t be out there this week.”
Fans might prefer Edwards-Helaire stays missing with the tandem of Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon propelling this KC offense in recent weeks, but it sounds like the former first-round selection will retake the field in 2022. Before the playoffs, most likely, or at least during the midst of them.
It does beg the question of how much CEH would even play. Before his injury, Pacheco had already swiped the starting role out from under him and McKinnon has the third-down passing game position in the bag. At best, Edwards-Helaire would probably just leapfrog veterans Ronald Jones II and Melvin Gordon III for the time being.
Either way, Big Red was pretty clear that this won’t happen against the Seahawks.
Mecole Hardman Has ‘Good Chance’ of Being Activated
The other KC mystery that fans received an update on was wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who suffered an abdomen injury that was never quite explained.
“There’s a good chance [he’ll be activated this week],” the Chiefs HC replied during the aforementioned press conference, “he’ll practice with the guys today and we’ll see if we can’t get him in there a little bit.”
Right now, it sounds like Hardman is on the same regimen that fellow WR Kadarius Toney was on a week ago. He may get some reps in Week 16 if he’s able, but the Chiefs definitely won’t push him too hard.
After all, homefield advantage is important but Kansas City would prefer to have a healthy roster heading into the postseason.
As for Toney, after five offensive snaps against the Houston Texans and another five on special teams, it seems like he could see a slight increase facing the Seahawks. “He feels good and so, we just take it gradually,” Reid noted about Toney, confirming that they plan to do the same thing with Hardman.
“We’ll see if we can’t keep both of them rolling,” the Chiefs boss concluded with a smile.