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Mecole Hardman misses second straight practice Thursday; Khalen Saunders returns

Saunders is still expected to play on Sunday. The Chiefs sound unsure about Hardman.

Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was held out of practice for the second straight day on Thursday, as Kansas City continues its preparation for its Week 10 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hardman’s second absence with an abdomen issue indicates that it is likely he will be out on Sunday. Meanwhile, wide receiver Kadarius Toney is in line to play in his second consecutive game with the club — and rookie Skyy Moore is another option for what could be Hardman’s vacant snaps.

“I know nobody likes to hear, ‘the next man up,’ but that’s the attitude and mindset that we take,” said offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Thursday. “Our coaches do an outstanding job of preparing everyone to be at their best when their best is needed. We’re coaching our starters to be the starters — but on top of that, we’re coaching the next man to be ready to play. That’s our job: making sure [that] in case someone is not ready and they can’t play, that the next man is ready to go out there and perform.”

Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, who missed practice with an excused absence on Wednesday, returned on Thursday.

“I thought he had a real solid game [against the Tennesee Titans],” said defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo of Saunders, who led the team with six tackles and a sack. “We’ve always felt like — you know, Mike Danna goes inside on rushing downs and we put some ends in there and George [Karlaftis] and whatnot. Khalen has always been one of those guys — [defensive line coach] Joe [Cullen] and I have talked about — [who] has quick enough feet where he can be an inside pass rusher for us. But I thought he did really good in the first and second-down run game part of it throughout the game.”

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