Has Mecole Hardman played his last game in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform?
After sitting out since Week 9 with a pelvis injury, Hardman appeared in the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He still wasn’t quite 100% in his return from injury, but he fought through discomfort and pain to help his team make it to Super Bowl LVII.
The fourth-year receiver caught a crucial 11-yard pass in the third quarter of the AFC title game to extend what would be a scoring drive for Kansas City. On that play, Hardman was tackled awkwardly and aggravated his pelvis injury.
Asked about his chances to play in the Super Bowl, Chiefs HC Andy Reid said he doubted that Hardman would be able to play in the game, but praised him for the toughness displayed last Sunday.
“Yeah, so I think it’ll be tough for him,” Reid said. “I doubt that he’ll make the Super Bowl. Listen, like I said, he was not going to be denied the other day (during the AFC Championship Game). It’s a tribute to the kid. He just pushed himself like no other. He’s a tough nut. He’s all smiles with you, but when it comes down to playing, he’s a tough, tough kid.”
Reid hasn’t ruled Hardman out yet, but this seems about as close to ruling a player out as you can get without actually doing it. It’s safe to say that it’d take a miraculous recovery for Hardman to be able to get to a spot where he could play in Arizona next weekend.
A 2019 NFL draft pick by the Chiefs, Hardman is in the final year of his rookie contract. He’s slated to be an unrestricted free agent in March, and with a weaker class of receiving talent, it’s possible that he’s one of the more coveted free agents out there.
Should this be the end of his time in Kansas City, Hardman will have finished his Chiefs career with 26 starts in 57 regular-season appearances. He recorded 151 receptions for 2,088 yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in those games, plus 20 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns. On special teams, he managed 62 punt returns for 555 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 39 kicks for 927 yards and a score.
Hardman appeared in 10 career playoff games, including Super Bowl LIV and Super Bowl LV. During those 10 games, he caught 22 passes for 226 yards and two scores, alongside 11 carries for 110 yards and a rushing touchdown.