In the Chiefs regular-season finale a fan favorite got his chance to show what he could do as the focal point of the receiving game. Byron Pringle did not disappoint, as he showcased what he could do for the Chiefs in the future.
The 2020 NFL season was not a memorable one for Chiefs wideout Byron Pringle, but in the regular-season finale, he gave Chiefs fans something to look forward to in 2021. As a backup in 2020, Pringle put up modest numbers, getting just 13 receptions for 160 yards, and one touchdown. While these numbers may be just modest, and very much indicative of a player how has not seen the field much, the majority of his yards and his only touchdown came on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
With Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson both free agents after this season it will leave the question as to what the Chiefs will decide to do with the players currently on the roster. Pringle made a strong case to be the replacement for either the second or third receiver position tallying four catches for 52 yards, and his only touchdown of the season.
Pringle was also able to show his play making ability, with a nice grab off of a deflection. It was good concentration to look the ball in and he showed some sticky hands to be able to bring it in.
Pringle will never be a big-play receiver, but he has the opportunity after this game to be a possession wideout, as well as another target for Patrick Mahomes to look to in the short and intermediate passing game. He is more of a natural playmaker than Robinson is, but he doesn’t have near Sammy Watkins explosiveness, making it likely that while he could see an extended role next season the Chiefs could still try to go after another WR in the draft or via free agency.
Pringle will likely be back on the Chiefs again next season, and if the team does see key departures he might be looking at his best shot yet to get consistent playing time. It won’t be a breakout season by any means, but he has a chance to put up similar production to what we have seen from Robinson this year.
Where I think that Pringle can be better than Robinson in the third receiver role is his ability to catch the ball and get upfield. On his big rip this week he was able to break arm tackles as well as show a knack for making plays. He has also displayed a consistent ability to catch the ball and sure hands, which are after all the most important part of playing WR. However the receiving core ends up looking next year, Pringle should be in the conversation.