Chiefs Make Final Call on WR Mecole Hardman at IR Activation Deadline

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman.

The Kansas City Chiefs have activated wide receiver Mecole Hardman (abdomen) from injured reserve, according to the NFL’s transaction wire on January 4.

Hardman (abdomen) had struggled to consistently hit the practice field since his 21-day practice window to return from injured reserve was opened on December 14.

After suffering a setback at practice on Wednesday, December 28 due to a tweaked groin, Hardman missed practice on Thursday and Friday. After Friday’s practice, head coach Andy Reid ruled out Hardman for Kansas City’s Week 17 outing against the Denver Broncos.

The deadline for Hardman to be activated from IR was on January 4, which gave him one last opportunity to hit the practice field before the team had to determine Hardman’s fate for the rest of the season. According to Reid during his Wednesday presser, Hardman did practice on Wednesday, and he apparently showed enough to put himself back on the active roster.

Hardman’s activation doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be available for Kansas City’s Week 17 outing against the Las Vegas Raiders. But it ensures he will be available for the playoffs.

Hardman Brings Extra Wrinkle to KC’s Offense

Prior to being injured, Hardman, 24, had already tied his career high for total touchdowns in a single season (6) despite having played in only 8 games this season. This speaks to how helpful Hardman was to Kansas City’s offense, especially in the red zone.

That momentum was stalled, however, when the Chiefs placed Hardman on injured reserve on November 17.

Through 8 games, Hardman caught 25 passes on 34 targets for 297 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. He also carried the ball 4 times for 31 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference.

With Hardman and Kadarius Toney healthy and in the lineup, the Chiefs now have two pre-snap nightmares for opposing defenses to worry about, whether it’s the Raiders in Week 18 or whoever Kansas City faces during the postseason.

Twitter Reacts to Hardman News

Twitter users reacted to Hardman being activated from injured reserve.

“Feels weird to say after him being just a puzzle piece for the last few years, but this feels big,” one Twitter user wrote. “He kinda completes that last speed spot that the WR room has been missing.”

“We’re gonna have Mecole, KT (Kadarius Toney), Kelce, McKinnon just in time for the playoffs. Redzone offense gonna be crazy,” another user wrote.

“Glad to see my dude bounce back from his injury only thing left to do is continue to get stronger better n move in the direction that only we know how n that’s FORWARD… ChiefsKingdom…” another user wrote.

“YESSSSSSSS!!!! Great news for Chiefs fans! So glad Mecole has recovered & will return to lineup,” another user wrote.

“Seeing the love Mecole Hardman is getting from Chiefs fans right now is awesome. I know he hasn’t been perfect, but I think fans are seeing he’s a big asset,” another user wrote.

“We finally get to see Hardman and Toney play together,” another user wrote. “That’s a lot of speed to contend with.”

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“Oh thank goodness. I was nervous for a second thinking they weren’t activating him,” another user wrote.

“Good news that Hardman will be back for the playoffs,” Zack Eisen of Arrowhead Report wrote. “My guess, based on Andy’s comments, is he’s inactive this week.”

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