Former K-State receiver Byron Pringle has career night in Chiefs’ loss against Colts

In the broadest view of that play you have watched probably no fewer than a dozen times, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes occupies the entire scene, from the otherworldly scramble to the pass on a dead sprint that will rank among his best.

That leaves the man on the other end of the throw, the one who tucked away a 27-yard touchdown catch, as merely a footnote.

In that play. And perhaps in the outcome, too, given the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season, a 19-13 defeat Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.

But Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle busted out for his career-best night, a bright spot in a game in which the Kansas City offense actually looked human. Pedestrian, even.

Pringle was the exception. He caught six passes for 103 yards and the first touchdown of his career, though his final reception finished one yard shy of what would have been an important first down in the fourth quarter.

Entering the game, Pringle had two catches since leaving Kansas State a year early ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft. Two.

He more than doubled that career total Sunday .... in the opening drive alone.

On a night in which the entire roster was tested with injuries, the Chiefs were left with just four healthy receivers. Tyreek Hill missed a fourth consecutive game with a collarbone injury. Sammy Watkins tried to play through a hamstring injury, but that attempt didn’t survive the game’s initial series. Those are their top-two options on the depth chart.

Enter Pringle.

He hauled in three passes for 37 yards on that first drive, the last of them reminiscent of his key catch in the Chiefs’ game-winning drive in Detroit one week earlier. Pringle bounced off a couple of defenders to gain extra yardage, without sacrificing the ball security that has plagued the Chiefs the past two weeks.

Pringle led the team with 76 yards before halftime. Mahomes targeted him eight times in the initial two quarters, more than anyone else in the receiving group.

None, of course, were more memorable than that aforementioned touchdown pass. Mahomes backtracked 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage in search of an opening to throw a pass. And yes, he did all of the heavy lifting on the play.

But Pringle stuck with the route. Standing two yards into the end zone, he nestled into a soft opening in the Colts’ prevent zone, and the secondary lost track of him.

Mahomes didn’t. Pringle reached his arms underneath the ball before it hit the grass.

His first career touchdown will be remembered — for different reasons.

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