Patrick Mahomes' 2020 season ended in disappointing fashion, but there's plenty of reason to be excited for 2021.
For one, he's ahead of schedule in rehabbing his toe injury, he told reporters Monday. And that toe injury just might make him even better than before.
"I don't. You just have to find different ways to improve," Mahomes said when asked if the toe injury was a setback in his efforts to improve. "There are so many different things I can improve in my game. Being able to kind of restart and start from injury with the feet, I can really improve my footwork and try to make myself better. I've dealt with ankle injuries in my career and being able to teach myself how to hit the right spots in my feet, by teaching myself just how to get back from this injury I think will help me out in the long run and something that I can really focus on."
The thought of Mahomes being an even better version of himself is, frankly, frightening to consider, especially if the one contemplating such a reality has to find a way to stop him. Then again, Tampa Bay sure did shut the high-powered Chiefs down in the Super Bowl, so the blueprint exists.
That blueprint might also require Kansas City to be without its starting tackles in the Chiefs' most important game of the year, a scenario that is more unlikely than not.
Mahomes, though, is already a stellar, almost otherworldly talent who's good for a viral internet clip every other week. Refining the small details might be the best way to take the next step toward unseen reaches of quarterbacking potential, progress that might just make him able to overcome adverse situations like the one he faced in Super Bowl LV.
In order to make it back to such a scenario, Mahomes will first have to be healthy. He said Monday he's out of his boot and headed toward some on-field work before training camp begins.
"I think I'm progressing well," Mahomes said. "I think I'm ahead of schedule myself. Obviously, they're trying to be cautious and not push me out there too soon. But I'm doing what I can. I've gotten out of the boot finally, it took forever, and now I'm trying to get back on the field and get that stuff working. I'm sure they'll keep me along that same pathway to (where) I hopefully can do some stuff by the end of the offseason."
For now, it's just offseason chatter, where hope runs in infinite supply and can be easily accessed by all. Optimism is no fountain of youth, but it's just about the next best thing for those pinning their dreams on the upcoming season.
For Mahomes, that new season offers his next opportunity to achieve greatness. With a healthy toe and better footwork, we can only imagine where he might be headed.