Howard finished the 2020 regular season with 11 receptions (19 targets) for 146 yards and two touchdowns across four games before suffering his season-ending Achilles injury Week 4 against the Chargers.
Howard's 2020 campaign will go down in the books as a prototypical case of a substantial missed opportunity for both player and team. The fourth-year pro appeared to have instant rapport with Tom Brady and had already been targeted 19 times over 132 snaps before going down for the season. The early exit was unfortunately nothing new for the 2017 first-round pick, who's yet to play a full 16 game slate in any of his first four NFL campaigns. Howard has flashed plenty of potential at times and could well have been on his way to a career-best year in 2020; while that possibility was ultimately derailed, he'll certainly have no shortage of motivation to prove himself in his 2021 contract year, when he'll carry a cap hit of just over $6 million as per Spotrac.