KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The decision went down to the wire yet the Chiefs activated Mecole Hardman from injured reserve on Wednesday, ensuring the club will have their playmaking receiver available for their postseason run.
The Chiefs cleared space on the active roster by placing offensive tackle Geron Christian on waivers.
Hardman has missed the last eight games after an abdominal issue sent him to injured reserve. He suffered a setback during practice last week with tightness in his groin. The team designated Hardman to return from injured reserve on Dec. 14, and the 21-day window during which he could practice with the club closed at 3 p.m. central time Wednesday.
Head coach Andy Reid says Hardman was limited in practice Wednesday.
“Mecole went out and did some good work today and we’re just going to see how he feels tomorrow,” Reid said. “He’s just day-by-day, he’s trying his heart out to get back in here.”
The return of Hardman adds depth to the club’s receiving corps, and the Chiefs certainly hope the 24-year-old can pickup where he left off. Hardman scored five touchdowns in the three games prior to his injury, hauling in 13 receptions for 153 yards. While the roster move doesn’t guarantee Hardman will play Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders, it does keep Hardman eligible for the playoffs.
Elsewhere on the practice field, Harrison Butker was a surprise scratch from Wednesday’s workout after the kicker reported back spasms, Reid said.
“It’s getting better as we go here but he did have some back spasms, so we just pulled (him) off,” Reid said.
The Chiefs are not currently carrying a backup kicker on their practice squad, but Reid said the club will consider the option if needed.
“There’s a chance we do,” Reid said. “(Butker’s) doing OK but just from a security stand there’s a chance we do that. We haven’t quite got that far but there’s a chance we might have to do that.”
Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (hip pointer), left guard Joe Thuney (ankle) and wide receiver Skyy Moore also practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Reid provided further details on Moore, who suffered a laceration on his hand during Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos.
“That hand is still swollen and sore,” Reid said. “He split his hand, his hand split open there and had sutures put in. He’s recovering from that.”
The club also made a change to their practice squad on Wednesday, signing defensive lineman Daniel Wise and terminating the contract of wide receiver Bryan Edwards.
Wise entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Kansas with Dallas in 2019. He’s also spent time with Arizona and Washinton, which placed him on waivers on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 279-pound Wise has played in 17 regular-season games over the past two seasons, including 11 contests this season with the Commanders including one start.
Chiefs injury report
Did not practice: K Harrison Butker (back)
Limited participation: CB L’Jarius Sneed (hip), LG Joe Thuney (ankle) WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis) and WR Skyy Moore (hand)
Full participation: LB Nick Bolton (rib)