Chris Conley could play a big role for the Chiefs

Chris Conley's 15-yard scoring catch in Thursday's preseason finale will be a treasured memory for the rookie. AP Photo/Tom Gannam

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Conley had the ball he caught for his first professional touchdown tucked away in his locker after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the St. Louis Rams Thursday night. It might have happened in a preseason game, but the memento was still special for Conley.

“That’s going to mom and dad," Conley said. “Hopefully, many more to come."

Further touchdown catches would come in the regular season, of course. The Chiefs concluded their preseason with a 24-17 victory against the Rams that was fueled in part by Conley's 15-yard scoring catch from Chase Daniel in the second quarter.

Conley, the Chiefs’ third-round draft pick, could play a big role for the Chiefs early in the season. Three of their wide receivers -- Albert Wilson, Jason Avant and De'Anthony Thomas, finished the preseason with injuries.

Conley could start when the regular season begins on Sept. 13, when the Chiefs play at the Houston Texans. He started against the Rams and caught three passes for 38 yards, including the touchdown.

“I’ve seen a couple of good things these last two weeks," coach Andy Reid said. “It looks like he’s improving. I think he can help us."

Conley looked like a veteran at a couple of important junctures against the Rams. He dropped a pass in the second quarter but responded on the next play to catch a 16-yard pass to give the Chiefs a first down.

“I wanted that back," Conley said. “I made sure when I went into the huddle I told Chase that it wouldn’t happen again."

Daniel called an audible on the touchdown pass and Conley made the right adjustment.

“We just so happened to get the right coverage for that and he ran it like a true veteran," Daniel said. “He didn’t miss a beat. He knew exactly what I wanted him to do and he did it."

Conley said, “As soon as he audibled, I knew he was coming to me. It was a tight window. He put it in between like three guys. Perfect ball.

“Huge props to him for trusting me on that kind of [play]."