Injuries struck Julius Thomas almost immediately after he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. Now that he's moved to Miami, the new Dolphins tight end believes those troubles are behind him.
"I don't really have any handicaps, anything that will hold me back," Thomas said, via the Miami Herald. "... I feel really good. I know that I'll be able to play at the highest level I've played in my career."
In Jacksonville, the 6-foot-5 target dealt with hand, ankle and back issues while missing 11 games over two years. Thomas insists the days of visiting the training room are over.
"I think that injuries are definitely something I've had to battle through," Thomas added. "Sometimes they come at the most unfortunate time. I take everything for what it is. I can't go back and change it."
We wish we could believe that South Beach will be the magic elixir the injury-prone tight end needs. Even in his best years, he still missed games. The 28-year-old has never played more than 14 contests in a season.
The reason for optimism in Miami isn't that he'll wondrously never be injured again. Rather, it rests upon what coach Adam Gase was able to do for Thomas during their time together with the Broncos.
After converting from a college basketball player, Thomas spent his first two NFL seasons developing in Denver. Then he exploded under Gase's guidance, snagging 12 touchdowns each of the next two seasons before heading to Jacksonville.
"I was really excited," Thomas said of reuniting with his former play-caller. "Gase is a guy that I trust, a guy that I've had a relationship with for a long time. ... I really believe in his philosophy on off the field, and his approach to coaching ... I'm looking forward to playing with him again."
While Thomas won't have Peyton Manning throwing him TDs this time around, there are plenty of weapons in Miami -- Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jay Ajayi -- that should free up the tight end to score in the red zone.
First Thomas must stay on the field.