The Kansas City Chiefs returned to the practice field on Wednesday to prepare for their Week 10 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But in a bit of a surprise, they took the field without one of their key offensive contributors.
“Mecole Hardman has some abdominal soreness, and so he’s being evaluated,” explained Chiefs head coach Andy Reid at his Wednesday press conference. “This has been going on for a day now — a couple days, actually — so we’re just going to see where and how he is. They don’t have an absolute on it right now, so they’re still doing some tests.”
The timing is terrible for Hardman, who is in the midst of the best two-game stretch of his career. Against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, Hardman had four catches for 32 yards and a touchdown, as well as two rushes that went for touchdowns. Hardman followed that three-touchdown performance with a six-catch, 79-yard outing that included a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans.
If Hardman were to miss the game this week, wide receiver Kadarius Toney could see more than the nine snaps he saw last week. Toney finished the game with two catches for 12 yards and a first down.
“We wanted to get him 10 or so reps — get him going a little bit,” said Reid of Toney. “So he’ll get more as we go here. I want to see how he does this week.”
Tight end Jody Fortson returned after missing practice and the game last week due to a quad injury. Offensive lineman Lucas Niang — still on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list — continued to work after taking the practice field for the first time last Wednesday.
“He’s working very hard and making progress,” added Reid of Niang. “He’s not there yet, but he’s working at it.”
Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders was not spotted at practice during the team’s brief media look.