Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes loses big offensive weapon for 4 games
The Kansas City Chiefs are dealing with a major setback with the news that wide receiver Mecole Hardman has been placed on injured reserve.
Kansas City Chiefs fans and players alike have been celebrating the recent arrival of Kadarius Toney, a former New York Giants receiver sent to KC in a trade that Travis Kelce is still trying to wrap his mind around.
While Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and JuJu Smith-Schuster have all provided a big offensive boost this season, it’s also worth noting that a Chiefs veteran has always offered the speed needed in Patrick Mahomes’ fast-paced offense. That’s why the news that wide receiver Mecole Hardman would be placed on injured reserve is a major blow to the Chiefs’ offense.
Chiefs placed WR Mecole Hardman on injured reserve, meaning he’s out a minimum of four games.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 17, 2022
Caps, Patrick Mahomes loses Mecole Hardman to IR for at least 4 weeks
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport provided a little more context on the injury and illness Hardman is dealing with. According to Rapoport, the fourth-year wide receiver was placed on IR due to “an abdominal injury and illness.”
The #Chiefs have placed WR Mecole Hardman on Injured Reserve because of an abdomen injury and an illness. He's expected to return after around four games.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 17, 2022
FanSided’s Matt Verderame reiterated that there is “optimism that he could return after the mandatory four-game absence.”
My understanding is Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman's abdomen injury is not considered season-ending.
Optimism he could be back after the mandatory four-game absence
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) November 17, 2022
It’s already been a tough week for the Chiefs wide receivers, as Smith-Schuster also sat out practice due to a concussion suffered in Week 10. Hardman missed the team’s Week 10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the aforementioned abdominal injury.
While Hardman hasn’t often led the team in receiving yards, he’s always been a deep threat who has been able to come up with block plays that move the Chiefs down the field on critical drives. In the last three games Hardman has played this season, he has scored a touchdown in each. Hardman was instrumental in Kansas City’s 20-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, where Hardman landed six of nine targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. Against the San Francisco 49ers, Hardman rushed for two touchdowns in the 44-23 loss.
While Hardman has been a big part of Mahomes’ offense since the arrival of 2019, the Chiefs are not lacking in the wide receiver department. Toney proved the Giants made a baffling mistake in trading him, and Odell Beckham Jr. has hinted at his interest in signing with the Chiefs. In fact, Hardman’s absence could make an even stronger case for Brett Veach to bring Beckham Jr. at Arrowhead.
Hopefully, Hardman can recover from his illness and injury quickly and continue to build on what has been another key season for the Chiefs.