Kansas City Chiefs

Trip to end zone could bring Byron Pringle one step closer to making Chiefs

KC Chiefs WR Byron Pringle on his first NFL touchdown

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle, a Kansas State product, scored in his first NFL touchdown in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle, a Kansas State product, scored in his first NFL touchdown in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The last time Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle reached the end zone in a game he was not content to get there once.

On Nov. 18, 2017, Pringle caught three touchdown passes from Skylar Thompson and returned a kickoff for a score in Kansas State’s 45-40 victory at Oklahoma State. The performance made him Big 12 offensive player of the week.

So Pringle knows the way, but scoring occasions are never unappreciated. That’s why Pringle was clutching the ball he carried into the end zone on Saturday night in the Chiefs preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

“This is going to my son,” Pringle said.

A present for 3-year-old Bryson, who was on hand to watch his dad take the jet sweep handoff from Kyle Shurmur and finish a 97-yard drive that gave the Chiefs a lead. The 49ers scored the game’s final two touchdown to win 27-17.

Pringle also returned a kickoff for 27 yards and caught a pass for 5 yards as he continues to build his case to be included on the 53-man roster. The decision will be made after the Chiefs’ final preseason game next Thursday at Green Bay and Pringle stopped short of putting himself on the team.

“I just attack every, and keep grinding,” he said.

It’s been a bumpy road for Pringle who after deciding to leave K-State with a year of eligibility and after signing as an undrafted free agent was having a solid preseason with the Chiefs in 2018. Five of his six receptions went for first downs and he was averaging 24.5 yards per catch.

But Pringle suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth preseason game and the MRI revealed that he had a hernia that needed immediate attention. The Chiefs placed Pringle on injured reserve.

“I didn’t let that bring me down,” Pringle said. “I had the opportunity to stay around and be with the organization. I was able to take advantage of each meeting, each weight room session, each rehab session. It was good thing. I was able to learn the offense.

“You have to attack each day with a positive mindset, a postive energy.”

Pringle has the admiration of former college teammate D.J. Reed, now a safety for the 49ers.

“He’s the definition of perseverance,” Reed said. “I’m proud of him, the person he is, how hard he’s worked, his passion for the game, it’s all coming to fruition.”

The Chiefs wide-receiver group has seen some flux over the past week. Marcus Kemp, who was having a superb training camp, suffered torn ACL and MCL in last week’s game at Pittsburgh. A few days later, the Chiefs signed De’Anthony Thomas, who had been released after last season.

Where does this leave Pringle and the group? After veterans Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson and rookie Mecole Hardman, the competition shapes up among Pringle, undrafted free agent Cody Thompson and Thomas.

The Chiefs unofficial depth chart lists Pringle as a third-team receiver. He’s also a return specialist.

Saturday, he didn’t hurt his chances by finding the end zone.

“I knew once I got the ball, I was getting in there one way or another, even if I had to drag all 11 of them, I was getting in there,” Pringle said. “It felt wonderful.”

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid liked a lot of what he saw during the Chiefs third preseason game Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium. He covered a wide variety of topics in his postgame press conference.

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