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Blake Bell tracking to play vs. Seahawks; Chiefs less sure about Mecole Hardman

Hardman hasn’t played since Week 9.

NFL: AUG 10 Preseason - Bengals at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid came with some good news and some not-so-good news via Zoom on Thursday, as the club closed out media for the week before their Christmas Eve game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Chiefs tight end Blake Bell (hip) and wide receiver Mecole Hardman (abdomen) have been practicing all week, but the head coach made it seem as though only the former would be available to play on Saturday.

“I’ll give you what I feel at this point without checking with (head athletic trainer and vice president) Rick [Burkholder],” started Reid. “I feel pretty good about Bell. Mecole, I’m not sure he’s where he needs to be, but we’ll talk to him and just see. We’ve had him in a very limited role [at practice], and I want to check with the kid — and Rick — here. And Rick will talk to Mecole, too.”

Bell’s return is necessary, as the Chiefs are expected to be without tight end Jody Fortson this week. Fortson is currently dealing with an elbow subluxation. Saturday would mark Bell’s first action of the season after preseason hip surgery.

Hardman — who hasn’t played since Week 9 — remains on injured reserve as he attempts to regain the weight he lost and feel good enough to play.

“Yeah, he’s working at it like crazy,” Reid said of Hardman’s weight issue. “I wish I could do that and just eat whatever I wanted. He’s working on that. He’s getting better there, but we’re just going to see. I’m going off of how he feels. I don't have anything for you right his minute, but we’ll see. We’ll see where it goes.”

The Chiefs' final injury report with official injury designations will be out later Thursday afternoon, but that won’t necessarily mean clarity on Hardman. While he is practicing, his standing on injured reserve means we likely won’t know for sure about his status until Friday.

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