Chiefs’ Andy Reid Confirms Key Injury Update on WR Mecole Hardman

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman.

The Kansas City Chiefs are activating receiver Mecole Hardman’s (abdomen) 21-day practice window to return from injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on December 14.

“Hardman was on IR with an abdomen injury but is healthy enough to practice,” Fowler wrote.

Not long after Fowler shared the news, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid took to the podium and confirmed publicly that Hardman’s practice window will be opened. Big Red also noted that the team will “ease” Hardman back into practice this week, which leaves his Week 15 status up in the air. Kansas City’s next game is a road outing against the 1-11-1 Houston Texans on Sunday, December 18 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time.

Reid had told reporters in Week 14 that there was a chance Hardman could be activated in Week 15, which was the first week he is eligible to return from IR. So, this injury update doesn’t come as a complete surprise but is nevertheless great news for Kansas City’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 he has been 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.

Twitter Reacts to Hardman Update

Twitter users reacted to the update on Hardman.

“Step 1…obviously he doesn’t play if not fully healthy but wonder if they try to activate him this week regardless, Locked On Chiefs wrote.

“The haters will be furious but the offense misses Mecole’s role,” another Twitter user wrote.

“Hardman has had a nose for the endzone this year. Tied for 2nd on the team with 6 TDs (that tie is with CEH by the way),” another user wrote. “That’s also tied 29th in NFL with names like Tyreek Hill, DK Metcalf, Aaron Jones, and CeeDee Lamb.”

Chiefs Could Have Healthy WR Room vs. Texans

Despite a matchup against the NFL’s worst team in Week 15, Kansas City could have a fully healthy receiver room for the first time in over a month. That’s good timing when considering that the Chiefs haven’t locked up the AFC West title yet and there are four games left in the regular season.

Kadarius Toney has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the first half of the Chiefs’ Week 11 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. After returning to practice in Week 14 — albeit in a limited fashion — he was ruled out for the Week 14 win over the Denver Broncos. Although he’s still considered “day-by-day” according to Coach Reid, Toney is expected to make continued progress in Week 15 and could return to the game day lineup in Houston.

If he does, and Hardman is activated from IR as well, then the Chiefs will have a fully-loaded offensive lineup against the Texans, who are eyeing the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

“Getting Mecole (Hardman) & KT (Kadarius Toney) back will add another dimension,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said during his press conference on December 14, according to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor. “Continuing to add speed, to any offense, it’ll open up everybody else.”

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