Patrick Mahomes reflects on Mecole Hardman's big play in emotional return to Arrowhead


The Chiefs made headlines last week when they reacquired wide receiver Mecole Hardman in a trade with the New York Jets.

Hardman, 25, spent the first five years of his career in Kansas City -- a run that included two Super Bowl titles -- before signing with the Jets in the offseason. His underwhelming stint in New York didn't last long, though, ending after just five appearances.

Back with Kansas City, it didn't take long for Hardman to make his presence felt. In his first game back in a Chiefs uniform in Week 7 against the Chargers, the speedy wideout helped seal the win with a long punt return that set up the Chiefs' final touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

And no one was happier about Hardman's impact play than Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was seen jumping up and down the Chiefs sideline in celebration.

"I think you understand in the NFL, this league is hard," Mahomes told host Carrington Harrison during his weekly appearance on 610 Sport Radio's "The Drive" on Monday. "It's hard to have success in this league. No matter where you come from, or how you start, or how you've been. And that's why I'm always so excited for my teammates when they get to have success in the game. I don't take it for granted.

"And for Mecole, I know how talented he is, and given how the beginning part of his season went, he could have kept his head down and that could have been something that really hurt his career. But the moment he got back here to Kansas City, you could see he wasn't going to let that affect him. He was just going to do whatever he could to help us win football games, and so I was excited for him to have a big moment so soon. And so hopefully he keeps them rolling and he'll make a positive impact as the season goes on."

Mahomes cited Hardman's field-stretching speed as a much-needed tangible addition to the offense. But Hardman's emotional reunion with the Arrowhead faithful also seemed to provide the team with an intangible spark on Sunday.

"Chiefs Kingdom is special like that," Mahomes said. "They truly appreciate everybody that's been a part of this team. I think you see that when guys come back with other teams, and you see that when they come back to the Chiefs. They welcome them with open arms and they love them up. That's just how it is, being at Arrowhead and having Chiefs Kingdom behind you. You know you have a support system that believes in you until the very end."

Elsewhere in the exclusive interview, Mahomes discusses the instant impact of the return of defensive end Charles Omenihu from suspension, and his wife Brittany's viral celebratory handshake with pop Taylor Swift, who was once again in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium to cheer on boyfriend Travis Kelce.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty