After missing the second half of the regular season and the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff tilt in the divisional round due to an injury to his pelvis, wide receiver Mecole Hardman made his return during the AFC Championship Game. His return reduced the burden on the team’s other top wideouts such as Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the latter of which has dealt with health issues as well.
While Patrick Mahomes will look toward tight end Travis Kelce in most key situations, the rest of the receiving corps will need to pull its weight in order for the Chiefs to emerge victorious in Super Bowl LVII. Hardman, the longest-tenured wideout on the roster, will factor into that equation.
Mecole Hardman injury updates
Monday, Feb. 6 update — Hardman has been placed on I.R. and will miss the Super Bowl. Justin Watson will likely get more work in the big game.
Friday, Feb. 3 update — Hardman logged a third straight day of no practice. He wants to still be able to play in the Super Bowl, but if next week goes as this one did, he likely will be sidelined.
Thursday, Feb. 2 update — Head Coach Andy Reid expanded on Hardman’s injuries on Thursday. He said that it would be tough for Hardman to play and that the wide receiver is considered doubtful.
Thursday, Feb. 2 update — The Chiefs held an official practice on Thursday, and Head Coach Andy Reid said that Hardman is once again listed as a non-practice participant. He has only been able to play in one game over the last few months, but the extra week before the Super Bowl could be enough time for Hardman to fully recover.
Wednesday, Feb. 1 update — Hardman has battled a pelvis injury since the end of the regular season and did not make his playoff debut until the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs listed him as a DNP for Wednesday, though the team did not practice and this status represents an estimate.
Fantasy football and betting advice
Not “practicing” Wednesday doesn’t mean Hardman won’t recover in time for the Super Bowl, especially given the bye week. However, he only played 22% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps in the conference title game, by far his lowest percentage of the season. Perhaps the extra time to rest will allow him to handle his usual workload come the Super Bowl, but fantasy managers should approach Hardman with trepidation until further notice.
This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 57, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.