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Byron Pringle on Mentality That Led to Career Day: ‘Just Go In and Grind'

The Chiefs' veteran wideout is appreciative of his extended opportunity and is making the most of it.

When the Kansas City Chiefs had both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week, the question arose as to who would step up in their absence. Even after Hill cleared protocols in time to play on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, that question largely remained. 

Hill hauled in just two passes for 19 yards on the day — one of his worst stat lines of the season. The pass-catcher who picked up the slack, Byron Pringle, was fantastic when needed the most.

Aside from one drop, Pringle had the best game of his career. He routinely found soft spots in Pittsburgh's coverage and made impressive plays all afternoon long. In all, he recorded six receptions for 75 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. The former Kansas State Wildcat was aware of the possibility that he'd be featured a bit more this week but after the game, he said he didn't feel like he needed to force the issue.

"I was just trying to come out — no pressure on myself — just take advantage of my opportunity and play," Pringle said. "Just have fun with it while I'm doing it."

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It's been a long road for Pringle, who has now reached career-best marks in receptions (34), yards (477), first downs (27), receptions of at least 20 yards (10) and touchdowns (five). He's a legitimate option within the Chiefs' offense in a year that has been begging a No. 2 wideout to step up. Pringle did so against the Steelers, and he credited an unexpected factor that led to this breakout: fishing.

"I fish a lot, and you never know when the fish is going to bite the bait," Pringle said. "It teaches you patience. Just go in and grind, don't look at who's in front of you. As long as we come out with that dub, at the end of the game, that's all that matters to me as a player and as a teammate. As long as we win and I executed my plan and took advantage of the opportunity that was given to me, I'm okay with it."

At the age of 28, Pringle has seen and done just about everything in the NFL in regards to roles on a team. He's been the special teams standout. He's paid his dues on the practice squad. Now, he's getting legitimate run alongside some of the world's best athletes and is making the most of every snap he gets. The 2021 season as a whole has been setting up what took place in Week 16. As the Chiefs prepare for a possible deep playoff run, having a proven depth piece will pay huge dividends in the most crucial time of the year. Pringle has worked hard and exercised tremendous patience, and it's all finally paying off.

Read More: Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 36-10 Win Over the Steelers