Mecole Hardman still might not be ready for KC Chiefs
By Matt Conner
Just because he’s been activated from injured reserve doesn’t necessarily mean that Mecole Hardman is ready to play for the Chiefs.
Mecole Hardman hasn’t played in a game for the Kansas City Chiefs since Week 9 of this season. It’s been a long stretch away from the field while trying to overcome an abdomen issue, and this came on the heels of, well, a heel injury to start the season. Suffice it to say, Hardman has to be hungry to get back to business.
For those who are excited by the news that he’s been activated from injured reserve, however, you should know that the move doesn’t necessarily signal what you think it might.
While it’s nice to have Hardman officially off of IR, the Chiefs were basically forced to make a call on Wednesday to either activate Hardman and place him back on the active roster or else lose him for the rest of the season. Wednesday was the final day of a 21-day window in which the Chiefs could observe Hardman’s readiness for the regular season during practice sessions without having to utilize a roster spot.
The downside here is that Hardman has still been limited in practice this week and that’s been true of his previous weeks since opening that practice window. If Hardman is still not quite ready, he’ll remain on the sidelines even though he’s officially off of IR.
What Wednesday’s decision meant for the Chiefs is that they expect Hardman to be ready at some point between Week 18 and the Super Bowl and that the potential of having him back was worth the use of a roster spot—one that used to belong to offensive lineman Heron Christian, who was released to make room. That could be mean we see Hardman back on offense and special teams as soon as Saturday or weeks from now—assuming the Chiefs make it that far.