KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day before the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Las Vegas Raiders in the desert, the team announced a number of roster moves, including activating wide receiver Mecole Hardman from the Reserve/COVID list and rookie L’Jarius Sneed from injured reserve.
The news wasn’t completely positive on Saturday. The team also says that wide receiver Sammy Watkins will remain sidelined with a hamstring/calf injury. He hasn’t played since the last time Kansas City and Las Vegas met in Week 5.
The team also placed standout offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz on injured reserve, meaning he’ll have to miss at least three games. He’s been battling through a back injury. Defensive lineman Taco Charlton also landed on the IR with a fractured ankle.
The team rounded its roster moves by activating wide receiver Gehrig Dieter and offensive lineman Bryan Wintzmann from the practice squad.
Hardman’s return means that whispers of Tyreek Hill returning punts on Sunday night likely fade, but the offense does get a boost with the former Georgia Bulldog’s speed back in the fold. Hardman saw his highest usage Week 8 against the New York Jets where he caught seven of nine targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with three more catches against the Carolina Panthers for 48 yards, and will be leaned on absent Watkins in the lineup.
Sneed returns looking to pick up where left off in an impressive beginning to his rookie season. He intercepted two passes and had 10 tackles before a broke collarbone paused his opening campaign.
Across enemy lines, the Las Vegas Raiders have had an unusual week of preparation with eight defensive players on the NFL’s COVID Watch List. Those players reportedly tested negative as recently as Saturday, but have had to attend meetings virtually and stay off of the practice field per league protocols.
The Chiefs look to avenge their lone loss this season when the teams kick off Sunday at 7:20 p.m.