KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman turned in a gritty performance in the AFC Championship game against Cincinnati. Still, it appears unlikely Hardman will be able to turn in an encore performance in Super Bowl LVII against Philadelphia.
“I think it will be tough for him,” head coach Andy Reid said. “I doubt he will make the Super Bowl.”
Reid said Hardman remains in a lot of pain after leaving Sunday’s game after re-aggravating his pelvis injury against the Bengals.
“He was not going to be denied the other day,” Reid said. “It’s a tribute to the kid. He pushed himself like no other and he’s a tough nut. He’s all smiles with you but when it comes down to playing he’s a tough, tough kid.”
Hardman caught two passes for 10 yards and received twice for 7 yards in Sunday’s win over the Bengals. Reid complimented Hardman for gutting out the game as much as possible with the Chiefs dealing with injuries at the receiver position.
“He did a great job of playing in that game the other day,” Reid said. “Very courageous effort and my heart goes out to the kid because he busted his tail.”
Hardman was one of four Chiefs players not expected to practice Thursday, along with fellow receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) along with cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (concussion protocol).
Toney, who is dealing with an ankle sprain, appears the most likely to return next. He took part in the team’s walkthrough Thursday morning.
“He’s close and doing well,” Reid said.
Both Toney and Smith-Schuster were observers at practice Thursday. Smith-Schuster was last seen limping following Sunday’s win over the Bengals and is continuing to deal with swelling in his knee. Reid said the team is hopeful he can return to the practice field next week when the team arrives in Arizona for the Super Bowl.
Sneed took part in the stretch and conditioning period of Thursday’s practice, indicating he’s progressed to at least stage two of the NFL’s concussion protocol. Sneed must complete all five stages before he can be cleared to return to game action.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he came out of Sunday’s game with no setbacks with the high ankle sprain in his right foot. The team did not work out Wednesday but he was listed as fully available in the estimated practice report and planned to participate in Thursday’s on-field workout.
“I was just generally sore I think from the game,” Mahomes said. “It was a physical game, my whole body was a little sore. I don’t think I had any step backwards or anything like re-aggravation of the ankle. Just the general little bit of a pain I had playing with it. But other than that I feel like I’m in a good spot.”
Mahomes one of six players listed on Wednesday’s practice report planning to work in some form on Thursday. The group also includes linebacker Willie Gay (shoulder), right guard Trey Smith (ankle), wide receiver Justin Watson (illness) and running backs Isiah Pacheco (ankle) and Jerick McKinnon (ankles).
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who remains on injured reserve, will also practice Thursday. The team has until Tuesday to activate the running back or rule him out for the Super Bowl.
“He’ll practice and we’ll see where he’s at,” Reid said. “We’re just taking it day-by-day and see kind of how he’s feeling and how well he’s doing during practice but also after practice.”
Chiefs injury report
Did not practice: CB L’Jarius Sneed (concussion protocol), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis) and WR Kadarius Toney (ankle/hamstring)
Limited participation: LB Willie Gay (shoulder)
Full participation: QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle), RG Trey Smith (ankle), RB Isiah Pacheco (wrist), RB Jerick McKinnon (ankles) and WR Justin Watson (illness)
Eagles injury report
Did not practice: RT Lane Johnson (groin/rest), LG Landon Dickerson (elbow/rest), C Cam Jurgens (hip/rest), CB Avonte Maddox (toe/rest) and DE Robert Quinn (foot/rest)
Limited participation: None listed
Full participation: None listed