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Courtland Sutton studying Michael Thomas’ 2019 season to “figure out ways to get open”

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons play a round of “Fill in the Blank” for who will have the most receiving yards on the Chiefs behind Travis Kelce and which offensive line has the most important job to do.

Sean Payton was with the Saints when Michael Thomas set the NFL record for receptions in a single season with 149. Thomas had 1,725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2019.

Payton now is with the Broncos, and the team recently provided Courtland Sutton with cutups of Thomas’ 185 targets that season. Sutton is studying one of Payton’s best receivers in New Orleans in one of the best receiving seasons in history.

It’s interesting,” Sutton said, via Aric DiLalla of the team website. “I actually just got — not too long ago, maybe a week or two ago — I just got Michael Thomas’ 2019 targets from his year that he broke the record. [I’m] just diving into it [to] be able to see how he may have run a route that we are learning right now. Figuring out ways to get open.”

Sutton isn’t likely to duplicate Thomas’ 2019 production, but he can add traits from Thomas’ game to his own. Sutton is similar in size to Thomas.

“Obviously he had a really good year that year, so to be able to find ways to implement the things he did well into my game, I feel like we’ll be able to have a lot of success,” Sutton said.

Despite trade rumors, Sutton is back with the Broncos and happy to be back. He has had only one 1,000-yard season, which was his only Pro Bowl appearance. Since catching 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, Sutton has 125 catches for 1,671 yards and four touchdowns the past three seasons combined.

Payton, though, could be the answer to get Sutton back to the production he had his second season.