Will WR Mecole Hardman be cleared to play against Bengals?

Chiefs to activate WR Mecole Hardman from IR for Week 17 tilt with Bengals

The Kansas City Chiefs are getting a boost where they need it most for Sunday’s Week 17 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

As first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs plan to activate WR Mecole Hardman off of injured reserve. He suffered a thumb injury back in November which required surgery and landed him on the team’s IR list shortly after making his return to the team via trade with the New York Jets.

Hardman was designated to return from injured reserve last week, but he only practiced in a limited capacity. This week he managed three consecutive full participation days at practice.

Chiefs desperately need what Hardman brings

Say what you will about Hardman’s two separate stints in Kansas City, he brings rare quickness and explosion at the wide receiver position. It’s something that the Chiefs are desperately lacking in the wide receiver room right now, and that was apparent in the Week 16 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Not only was no one creating separation and getting open, but the team had no threat of a deep passing game or explosive plays, which allowed the Raiders to just sit back and drive on the short passing game. Hardman has the speed to stretch the field vertically and horizontally on some designed touches, which should help keep Lou Anarumo’s defense honest on Sunday.

The Chiefs don’t have any open roster spaces on the 53-man roster, so they will need to make a corresponding move to make room for Hardman.

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