Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman lands on IR with sprained thumb

The Chiefs are thin at wideout for their Sunday matchup vs. the Raiders

October 23, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman was placed on injured reserve Saturday. He will miss at least four games with a sprained right thumb.

It has been a season of wideout issues for the Chiefs, who will go without Kadarius Toney on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was ruled out as he manages hip and ankle injuries.

Hardman injured his thumb during the Chiefs' Week 11 game, a 21-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Concerns surrounding the Chiefs receiving corps took center stage during that contest.

Down by four points, MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes threw a deep pass to wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling with less than two minutes remaining. The ball bounced off his fingers and he tripped within five yards of the end zone.

The Chiefs traded for Hardman last month after the Jets picked him up in free agency last offseason. Kansas City sent the New York Jets a sixth- and seventh-round pick in exchange for Hardman. In the deal, the 25-year-old was reunited with the team that selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. During his rookie season with the Chiefs, his prowess as a returner earned him a Pro Bowl nod and he went on to win two Super Bowls with Kansas City.

Between the Jets and Chiefs this season, the former Georgia Bulldog has recorded nine receptions on 13 targets for 47 yards. After four games with Kansas City this season, Hardman ranks sixth among the team's receivers.

Toney is right above him, recording 22 receptions on 30 targets for 139 yards in 10 games. He started the 2023 campaign as the face of the team's problems at the wideout position, dropping three passes in a season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions. The uncharacteristic performance came after Toney’s status was questionable heading into the game due to surgery he underwent to repair his meniscus in the offseason.

Aside from All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice leads the team in receptions. The rookie has totaled 420 yards in 10 appearances, while none of his fellow receivers have surpassed 330 yards.