Patrick Mahomes gives all the Chiefs' receivers 'a chance to be explosive'

Kellerman: Injuries making Mahomes extremely important (1:05)

Max Kellerman considers Patrick Mahomes more important to the Chiefs than Deshaun Watson is to the Texans because of the injuries Kansas City has suffered. (1:05)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Something told receiver Byron Pringle to stay alert on what would become the most significant play of his NFL career, even when it looked like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would have no chance to get him the ball.

That something was that his quarterback is Mahomes.

"One thing about Mahomes: You just stay alive and keep moving because he will find you anywhere on the field, even if he is in the stands," Pringle said.

Mahomes eluded opposing defenders for long enough on the play in question to indeed find Pringle last week against the Indianapolis Colts for a 27-yard touchdown, the first of Pringle's brief NFL career and one of the longest plays of his first 100-plus-yard game (he finished with 103).

Pringle became the Chiefs' fourth 100-yard receiver in their first five games, following Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce and Demarcus Robinson. Rookie Mecole Hardman missed joining the group by 3 yards in a Week 3 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chiefs (4-1) have never had four different 100-yard receivers in their first five games. That one of them isn't Tyreek Hill, who set a team record with 1,479 receiving yards last season but hasn't played since leaving the lineup because of an injury in the first quarter in Week 1, speaks to the Chiefs' depth at wide receiver.

It also speaks to Mahomes' big-play ability.

"Pat gives everybody a chance to be explosive," said Robinson, who had 172 receiving yards in the Week 2 win against the Oakland Raiders. "Every week can be a big week for any of us guys."

Mahomes and the Chiefs have at times this season had to look in some down-the-depth- chart places for receiving help. Watkins and Kelce are starters, but Hardman, with his 97 yards against the Ravens, was playing in his third NFL game.

Robinson is in his fourth season with the Chiefs but has been buried on the depth chart for most of that time. He entered the season with 43 career catches and 500 yards.

"You have to be patient," Robinson said. "We've got a lot of great guys in the room and they've been here longer than I have and their number gets called more times than mine."

Pringle is the most unlikely of the 100-yard group. He joined the Chiefs last season as an undrafted rookie from Kansas State. He missed all of the 2018 season because of injuries.

He was at the bottom of the depth chart to start this season and was waived by the Chiefs on Sept. 10. They re-signed him to the practice squad two days later and activated him in time for the Week 2 game.

Pringle earned some playing time as the weeks went on and was in the lineup as the Chiefs were seeking a go-ahead touchdown in the final moments of their Week 4 win against the Detroit Lions. His 13-yard catch put the Chiefs inside the 5. They scored two plays later.

"The quarterback has trust in him, which is important," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "That means he's running the right routes and getting to the right spots. That's great for his career going forward."

Pringle might not get significant playing time for long. Hill could return as soon as Sunday's game against the Houston Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS). Watkins, who has a sore hamstring and was in for only two plays last week, won't have an extended absence, either.

Until they return, Mahomes has plenty of viable targets at wide receiver.

"That's the luxury of having that receiver room is guys can step in and still play and have success on the field," Mahomes said. "That's how we roll as a team in general. Whenever guys get their opportunity, they step up and make plays."