KC Chiefs will get reinforcements back from injury soon
By KC Proctor
The Kansas City Chiefs will see a number of important players making their way back from injury soon, providing much-needed reinforcements.
Although the Kansas City Chiefs offense has been electric as ever in 2022, and Patrick Mahomes is on track for his second career MVP award, the absence of four key players have been felt dramatically.
Joe Thuney, Mecole Hardman, Kadarius Toney, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire all play significant roles in this offense and are all fortunately closing in on their respective returns. Hardman was designated to the injured reserve on November 17th and will have to sit out for the upcoming game against the Denver Broncos, CEH was designated a week later and will miss two more weeks, but Toney has returned to practice in a limited capacity this week and Thuney has been a full participant each day this week.
Given how severely each of these players has been missed, let’s take a look at each of their injuries, their timetables for return, and the roles they will fill upon their return.
The Chiefs’ statistically objective WR3, Mecole Hardman, has not quite lived up to the exponentially increased hype that he received in the offseason, but he has certainly been effective. In an offense that features the predominant air production coming from the tight end, the serving size on each plate of this six-man wide receiver rotation has been sparse. That said, the role that Hardman fills is essential to the offense. With his speed being his greatest weapon, his usage in the running game and ability to draw attention from safeties—opening up the middle of the field for Kelce—has been paramount to the team’s success.
He’s had a rough go with health this year, as he was wrestling a nagging heel injury early on, and now sits on the IR with an abdomen injury. Coach Reid had encouraging words about Hardman’s progress on Tuesday, and by all accounts, it seems as if he will be making his return when eligible—Week 15 against the Houston Texans. He will be missed sorely against a stout Denver secondary this Sunday afternoon, but assuming all continues to go well, the offense should be back to near full strength the following week.
Upon his return, expect to see his distributed impact on the offense pick back up right where it left off. He has, thus far, hauled in 25 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns, and has also received four touches out of the backfield for 31 total yards and two scores. Six touchdowns are tied for second on the team—a country mile behind Kelce’s 12—and his healthy return should be greatly welcomed by Chiefs Kingdom.