The Kansas City Chiefs have placed wide receiver Mecole Hardman on injured reserve, per a Thursday announcement.
After dealing with an abdomen injury/illness, the Kansas City Chiefs have decided to play it safe with wide receiver Mecole Hardman. The team announced that they’ve placed him on the injured reserve list as of Thursday, which means he will miss the team’s upcoming game against the Los Angeles Chargers as well as several more.
Hardman sat out the Chiefs’ previous game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the same issue, and it’s clear the Chiefs are choosing instead to free up a roster spot instead of holding out perpetual hope. It also allows the team to just play it safe and keep a long-term view on what is most important, which is to have Hardman healthy for the stretch run and into the postseason.
The injury news for Hardman is two-sided. First, Hardman has been a strong performer for the Chiefs this season, including a recent stretch where he scored five touchdowns in only three games before going down with an injury. He’s played through an ankle injury in the first several games of the year and has shown toughness and great hands through it all.
That said, the Chiefs are incredibly deep at wide receiver and the Chiefs should be able to easily cover for Hardman’s absence. Newly-acquired wideout Kadarius Toney should be the first man up, but the team has plenty more mouths to feed from there and should be okay in terms of offensive output.
Getting Hardman healthy for the team’s Super Bowl hopes is the primary goal here. Given that Hardman is in his contract season, he will undoubtedly be motivated to show what he can do in what limited games are left when he returns.
Because Hardman is on injured reserve, he will have to miss the next four games for the Chiefs, which means he could return in time to visit the Houston Texans on December 18.