Chiefs rookie Rashee Rice catches his first NFL pass for a touchdown. Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) catches a pass for a touchdown as Detroit Lions safety Brian Branch (32) defends during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season officially kicked off on Thursday night as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions. And Chiefs rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice had a huge moment in his first career game that fans took notice of.

Rice comes to the Chiefs as a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after a breakout senior season at SMU where he recorded the third-most receiving yards in Division 1 college football last year.

Star tight end Travis Kelce is sidelined for the game after hyper-extending his knee earlier this week. So the Chiefs were obviously in need of some unheralded players to step up.

Rice answered the call with the first reception of his career, catching a one-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to get the Chiefs on the board.

You really can’t plan out a better way to get your first NFL reception. And fans praised Rice on social media after the catch.

This wasn’t the only highlight from Rice in the first half, as he would go on to make a number of other impactful plays in the first half.

Even when Kelce does eventually return for the Chiefs, they will need for wide receivers to emerge and make big plays. Aside from veteran wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs are pretty thin in terms of experience at the position.

If Rice can continue to produce early on in the season like this, he could carve out a big role on this Chiefs offense moving forward.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.