Chiefs Activate RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Place WR Mecole Hardman On IR

FEBRUARY 12: Even though Edwards-Helaire is healthy enough to play, he is among the team’s inactives for tonight’s championship game. That news comes as little surprise given the time he has missed, and confirms that Pacheco and McKinnon will handle the load in the backfield for Kansas City.

FEBRUARY 6: As the countdown to Super Bowl LVII continues, the Chiefs have made a pair of injury-related moves. The team announced on Monday that running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had been activated from injured reserve, while wideout Mecole Hardman has been placed on IR.

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The former’s three-week activation window had nearly expired, as he had been designated for return on January 17. The news will be a welcomed sight for Kansas City in terms of being closer to full health on offense, though the former first-rounder may not be in line for a particularly large role in the championship game.

Edwards-Helaire has not played since Week 11 due to a high ankle sprain. In his absence, the Chiefs have increasingly turned the reins over to seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco as their early-down back. Jerick McKinnon, meanwhile, has excelled in a pass-catching role, scoring at least one touchdown in six straight games to close out the regular season. It will be interesting to see how much of a workload Edwards-Helaire takes on within the team’s backfield after missing extended time and with the other two backs enjoying success in his absence.

The other move is likewise not surprising. Hardman being placed on IR guarantees that he will not play in the Super Bowl, something which head coach Andy Reid recently indicated was the likely outcome in his situation. Kansas City suffered a slew of injuries at the receiver position in their AFC title game win over the Bengals, with Hardman reaggravating his pelvis injury suffered earlier in the year.

Fellow pass-catchers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney are in better shape as it relates to their potential availability for next week’s big game. The Chiefs are always in position to be dangerous through the air with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (who is, of course, nursing an ankle sprain of his own) and tight end Travis Kelce available. Still, the uncertainty they face at the WR position could be a key talking point over the course of the next few days.

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