KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs activated wide receiver Mecole Hardman from injured reserve on Wednesday, less than an hour before the deadline to decide whether to place him on the active roster or end his season, though it's unclear whether he will play this weekend in Las Vegas.
Hardman has not played since Week 9 because of an abdominal injury. He was designated to return on Dec. 14, opening a three-week window in which he could practice. And the Chiefs were optimistic that he could play in last Sunday's win over Denver until Hardman experienced what coach Andy Reid called “a setback” during practice.
The Chiefs cleared roster space for Hardman by waiving backup offensive lineman Geron Christian.
The AFC West champions will no doubt get a boost from Hardman, one of the fastest wide receivers in the league, who had scored five touchdowns — three through the air and two on the ground — in the three games prior to his injury.
In fact, they have hardly played with their full complement of wide receivers because JuJu Smith-Schuster missed a game to concussion protocol and Kadarius Toney was out with a hamstring injury shortly after his trade from the Giants.
Still, the high-flying Chiefs are No. 1 in the league in scoring (29.1 points per game), total offense (417.7 yards), passing yards (305.1) and yards per play (6.4). They're also second in third down conversion rate, their red zone touchdown rate and sacks allowed, and they are one of the least-penalized teams in the league.
The Chiefs also made a couple of practice squad moves Wednesday, signing former Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise and releasing wide receiver Brian Edwards. Wise appeared in 17 games for the Commanders the past two seasons.
The Chiefs, who at 13-3 are a half-game ahead of Buffalo for the best record in the AFC, play the Raiders on Saturday night in their regular-season finale. The Bills, who hold a tiebreaker over Kansas City after their head-to-head win in October, play the Patriots on Sunday, though it remains unclear whether their game against Cincinnati will be completed.
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