Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
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To say it was a rough 2020 season for Michael Thomas is an understatement. The All-Pro wideout not only battled injuries that cost him 11 starts, but he was also the centerpiece of what was/is supposedly a disgruntled relationship with the New Orleans Saints, the latter seemingly boiling over when he allegedly punched C.J. Gardner-Johnson in practice and was subsequently punished for it by the team in Week 5. With his tumultuous fifth NFL season now behind him, following the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round, Thomas is not only free to reflect on it all -- but to also get his body back to 100 percent.

To that end, he'll likely reportedly undergo surgeries to repair a torn deltoid as well as other injured ligaments in his ankle -- per Adam Schefter of ESPN -- the dates of which are currently unknown. 

It's also reported Thomas would often not practice at all during the week ahead of games as he dealt with the high ankle injury suffered early in the season, Saints coaches allegedly advising him the team was better with him at much less than 100 percent than not at all. In the end, Thomas attempted to gut through it, and also with the mindset of trying to make what is likely the last ride for Drew Brees a memorable one. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers' defense made sure it wasn't, however, potentially ending an era in New Orleans and pushing the Saints into offseason mode, effectively immediately.

Thomas will look to bounce back in 2021 after delivering a career-worst 438 receiving yards with no touchdowns in the regular season, also marking the first time in his record-setting career he's failed to break the 1,000-yard receiving mark. He reeled in 73 receiving yards and a touchdown in the wild-card round to do away with the Chicago Bears, but had no catches and no yards on four targets one week later. And assuming he's in full health at the start of next season, there's still the matter of who'll be throwing him the ball, because his tandem with Brees is one that might never be replicated -- although the Saints will give it a go. 

So as the 27-year-old looks ahead at what's to come, the only thing he can control is his health and preparation, and it sounds as if he's ready to grab that wheel.