WATCH: Rashee Rice scores Chiefs' first touchdown of 2023

Rashee Rice overcomes some preseason hiccups with the first Chiefs TD of the season.

Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Of all of the Kansas City Chiefs playmakers on offense, Rashee Rice came into the game likely lower on the list of those most likely to make a significant impact in Week 1 for a number of reasons. As it turns out, none of those would matter because Rice ended up catching the first touchdown of the season nonetheless.

Coming in as a rookie receiver is tough enough for a player like Rice. It's fairly well-known that the Chiefs tend to favor experienced players in terms of reps given on offense. While Rice has packages on offense that will favor him, the Chiefs carry seven total wide receivers on the active roster (for the first time in Andy Reid's tenure) and Rice was supposed to have to wait his turn.

Even beyond that, Rice was dealing with some real hiccups this preseason in the form of drops. While Rice also showed what he could do with some significant production during games, he also allowed several passes to slip through his hands—showing the "rookie mistakes" that often come when a prospect is trying to process so much at once while making the leap to the pro level.

On Thursday, the Chiefs hosted the Detroit Lions to open the season and near the beginning of the second quarter, the Chiefs threatened with their first long drive of the game. When a gimmick play failed with only two yards to go, Mahomes took the snap and found Rice in the back of the end zone on a nice short toss to give the rookie his first professional touchdown.

It'll be interesting to see how much the Chiefs lean on Rice going forward.

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