Chiefs WR Hardman’s status remains uncertain for Raiders game

KC placed WR on reserve/COVID-19 list last week
Mecole Hardman
Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 14:19:00-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr.’s status for a rematch Sunday with the Las Vegas Raiders remains in doubt.

Coach Andy Reid confirmed Monday that Hardman remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but it’s unclear if that was the result of a positive test or part of the contact tracing process.

“I don’t know what I can get into and can’t get into on that,” Reid said. “But he is on the list. He’s got to wait here, his days. Right now, he’s feeling good, which is a good thing.”

Kansas City placed Hardman on the list Nov. 11, but it's unclear when he either tested positive or had close contact and those details will be critical for his availability on Sunday at Las Vegas, a game that will air on 41 Action News.

Under NFL treatment protocols for COVID-19, a player who tests positive but remains asymptomatic must wait 10 days or test negative twice at least 24 hours apart to resume team activities.

Any player who shows symptoms of COVID-19 must wait at least 10 days from the onset and at least 24 hours after symptoms go away before rejoining the team.

In the case of close contact, a player must test negative for five consecutive days before being cleared to return.

Hardman has boosted his production in recent weeks with Sammy Watkins sidelined by a hamstring injury.

The second-year pro from Georgia has caught 12 of 15 targets for 201 yards with a touchdown in the last three games.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Reid says the team has adapted well and continues to maintain safe practices.

“I keep it simple,” Reid said. “I look at what our doctors are doing throughout the country. They are keeping themselves relatively free of COVID. I think they do it by wearing a mask always, social distancing the best they possibly can and then washing their hands.”

Those are the key factors in the Chiefs’ strategy, which was devised by the team’s Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Rick Burkholder.

“We’ve tried to hammer that point home to our guys — that, when you’re in this building, that’s what you need to be doing,” Reid said.

Players aren’t banned from interacting with each other, but there are precautions in place.

“It’s not that you can’t talk to each other,” Reid said, “Just don’t spend a lot of time doing it without separating. Then, you can come back later. But keep your distance the best you can.”

In other injury news, Reid confirmed Monday that defensive end Taco Charlton, who tweeted last week that he’d broken his ankle, suffered a fracture.

Charlton is likely headed for the injured reserve list, while cornerback L’Jarius Sneed could be nearing a return.

Sneed, a rookie fourth-round pick from Louisiana Tech, had an interception in his first two NFL games then suffered a broken collarbone in his third game. He’s been sidelined since Sept. 28, but was designated to return from injured reserve last month.

“He’ll be back and working with us this week, and we’ll just see how he does,” Reid said.