Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has dealt with plenty of injuries to start his NFL career. He broke a bone in his foot during the 2012 NFL Combine, hurt his ankle and missed the end of the 2010 season, tore his Achilles tendon while workout during the 2011 offseason and, finally, broke a finger days before the 2011 season opened. As a result he has played in just 21 of 32 possible regular season games and has 54 receptions for 834 yards and six touchdowns.
But we certainly saw glimpses of stardom from Thomas during the 2011 season and in the playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, as evidenced by his 80-yard touchdown reception from the since-departed Tim Tebow. Was this a sign of things to come?
With the arrival of Peyton Manning in Denver as the team's quarterback, the sky might be the limit for Thomas, as ESPN Insider Gary Horton writes:
Thomas has size and toughness along with underrated deep speed and vertical potential. He averaged over 17 yards per catch during the regular season, and I can see that increasing in 2012. Manning makes everyone around him better, and if Thomas can stay healthy, he will be something special.
Thomas is likely to emerge as the No. 1 receiver ahead of Eric Decker, the team's other top receiver from the 2011 season. Might a Pro Bowl spot be waiting for Thomas next season?