The Kansas City Chiefs kick off their practice week on Tuesday as they prepare to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
Chiefs HC Andy Reid provided his usual pre-practice injury update, delivering some good news on returning players and some bad news on a player dealing with an injury. He started off with the bad news on the lone player who won’t practice.
“The guys that won’t practice today, really it’s just Mecole (Hardman),” Reid said. “Really, we’re just going to back off of him a little bit and see if we can’t get it feeling better. He’s been pushing it hard and it’s not responding the way that he wants it or that we want it. So, we’ll back off on that.”
Hardman was designated to return from injured reserve over a month ago after suffering an abdominal/pelvis injury in Week 9 against the Tennesse Titans. There has been some uncertainty surrounding his status after he suffered a setback of sorts. It seems right now they’re intent on getting him more rest and rehabilitation.
“Yeah, he does and we do,” Reid said. “We just want to try and not take steps back. It’s not that we’ve taken steps back, it’s just that it’s not getting where it needs to be — where he can go. My feeling is that if we just back off on it and let him rest a little bit here and do his rehab, he’ll have a chance to get better. He doesn’t want to and we don’t want to put him out in a bad situation.”
It feels like a return to the field this season for Hardman would be a longshot, but at a minimum, it would require the Chiefs to advance in the playoffs.
As for the good news, the team will have two players back at practice on Tuesday. Reid confirmed that both RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (high ankle sprain) and TE Jody Fortson (elbow) had been designated to return from injured reserve.
“The other two I probably should mention to you is Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) and Jody (Fortson) will practice,” Reid said. “So we’re going to ease them back in and just see how they do. Try to get them back in the swing of things.”
Remember, both players will have a 21-day window from today, during which period they can be activated to the 53-man roster. Just because they’ve been designated to return, doesn’t mean they’ll return this week or this season for that matter.
Finally, it sounds like Frank Clark is set to practice after suffering a groin injury in Week 18.
“Yeah, he is (heading in the right direction),” Reid said of Clark. “He’s been working very hard at that. But yes, he’s progressing.”