On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs began their on-field preparation for Sunday’s AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman was among the players who were observed on the field at the beginning of the practice session.
Notes from the Wednesday media look: confirmed Patrick Mahomes (ankle), L’Jarius Sneed (nose), Mecole Hardman (pelvis), Jody Fortson (elbow) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) — all working ahead of Chiefs’ AFC Title game— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) January 25, 2023
This is a step forward for the fourth-year player, who hasn’t played since the Week 9 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Head coach Andy Reid believes that the team’s decision to keep their wideout out of recent practices has helped bring him around.
“He feels better than he did the last couple of weeks,” said Reid during his pre-practice remarks to reporters. “That move worked to this point.”
Hardman — whose most recent injury descriptions say he has a pelvis issue — was activated from the team’s Reserve/Injured (injured reserve) list on January 4. That was before the team played its final regular-season game against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was a limited participant in that week’s practices and was held out on game day. As the team prepared for their Divisional Round game against the Jaguars, Hardman did not participate in all of that week’s practices and was declared out for the game.
Could this mean that Hardman might be available for Sunday’s game? Reid — as usual — remained non-committal. He did, however, seem at least a little optimistic.
“Again, we’ll just see how he does every day,” said the head coach. “He seems to be in a good place.”
Reid also addressed the possibility that tight end Jody Fortson or running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be available to play on Sunday.
“There’s a chance,” said Reid. “There’s a chance [for] either one — but maybe more Fortson than Clyde. We’ll see how it goes this week.”
Both players are still on the team’s Reserve/Injured list, but were designated for return a week ago Tuesday. This allowed them to practice with the team. At any time before the close of league business on Tuesday, February 7, either player could be activated to the roster and be eligible to play. Fortson is working his way back from an elbow injury, while Edwards-Helaire has been dealing with a high ankle sprain.