The Kansas City Chiefs have activated wide receiver Mecole Hardman from Injured Reserve.
Chiefs have activated WR Mecole Hardman from injured reserve.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2023
Hardman has been out since week 9 with an abdominal injury. It looked like the injury was not going to be something long term, but he was ultimately placed on IR and is set to return this week. Before his injury, Hardman was looking like the best wide receiver on the team. With Tyreek Hill traded to Miami, someone had to step up in his absence. Kansas City signed wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this past off-season to fill the void. Maybe the Chiefs have had that replacement all along.
Hardman was drafted by Kansas City in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia. Hardman is known for his blistering speed and run after catch ability. The Chiefs are getting Hardman back at the right time. The NFL Playoffs are just around the corner. Adding another speed demon to this Patrick Mahomes led offense will make this offense tough to beat.
Hardman has not been the de facto number one receiver for his career as he doesn’t really have that type of build to be a number one threat. Also having Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill does not help his case. In his rookie season, Hardman made the Pro Bowl as a returner. However, Mecole Hardman has been getting better every year. Last season was his best to date. He had a career high in receptions and yards.
In his few games before the injury, Hardman had receiving touchdowns in his last three games. He even showed some promise running the ball as well. He had two rushing touchdowns during that three game stretch.
The Kansas City is a 9.5 point favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18 according to NFL betting sites. Mecole Hardman’s return to the lineup does not likely effect this line, but he will certainly help them for another Super Bowl run.