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New York Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas has undergone ankle surgery following his inaugural season in the NFL.

Andrew Thomas has officially undergone ankle surgery almost a week and a half after his rookie NFL season concluded, according to a source close to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan. The New York Giants left tackle additionally posted a photo of his left ankle in a cast to Instagram on Wednesday.

Apparently, Thomas, who the Giants drafted with the No. 4 overall pick last year, developed the health-related setback during the training camp period but dealt with it during the regular season.

Thomas underwent an up-and-down first year in the league, experiencing a tremendous number of difficulties during the first half of the season. But much like the rest of the unit, Thomas improved as the season progressed, only briefly taking steps back. He provided fans with confidence towards the 2020 campaign’s conclusion that he could indeed be the starting left tackle in 2021 and beyond.

That confidence wasn’t exactly present during his struggle-filled portion of the season, but you must take into account the overlying situation. Thomas was initially expected to develop as an NFL offensive lineman while performing from the right tackle spot, but amid Nate Solder’s opt-out, a 21-year-old was asked to start on Daniel Jones‘ blindside in the midst of a pandemic-impacted season that had no OTAs, minicamp, or preseason leading up to it.

The former Georgia Bulldog needs time and the appropriate number of opportunities to develop his craft. A normal offseason should help him with that.

It’s also unclear what position Thomas will play if Solder returns for the 2021 season. Solder is a natural left tackle but has struggled mightily from that position in recent years. You could move Thomas to the right side, but would it be a detriment to develop him at left tackle for all of 2020 just to move him a year later?

And what about Cam Fleming? Do you bring him back?

The offensive line will need to further develop in 2021, but before that can even occur, the organization must answer a multitude of questions regarding the group.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.