Good news comes out of Chiefs training camp: Andy Reid says that both Chris Jones and Mecole Hardman could play on Saturday in preseason home opener.
Wednesday’s penultimate training camp practice in St. Joseph, Missouri was a sketchy one for Chiefs fans.
Star defensive tackle Chris Jones and wide receiver Mecole Hardman were both carted off with injuries. Jones tweaked his back, and Hardman had a groin issue, but news broke quickly that each injury was minor. Today, even better news came from Chiefs camp.
Whether head coach Andy Reid will actually send Jones and Hardman out to play on Saturday against the Washington Commanders is unknown, but nonetheless, it is good news that he believes it’s possible for them to do so.
Jones, who is entering the third season of his four-year $80 million extension, is going to play a huge role in the Chiefs’ young defense. His veteran experience, and consecutive second-team All-Pro nominated abilities will be a crutch for a youthful group that is looking to redefine itself as a unit.
Jones’ presence alongside Frank Clark, and the recently-signed Carlos Dunlap will allow for rookies like George Karlaftis and developing linemen Mike Danna, Joshua Kaindoh and Khalen Saunders to make a bigger impact in rotation.
Chiefs announce both Chris Jones and Mecole Hardman to be healthy
Hardman is poised to take on a much greater role in the Chiefs offense this season. With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling coming to town in free agency, Hardman will have an opportunity to finally bloom in this scheme. He has spent the first three years on his rookie deal in the shadow of Tyreek Hill, and he is expected to take on a great deal of Hill’s former responsibilities.
Losing either — let alone both — Jones or Hardman would be a serious thorn in the side of a Chiefs team that has its sights set on returning the the Super Bowl in 2022 for the third time in four years.