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New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates with running back Alvin Kamara (41) after he scores a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers cornerback in the first half in an NFL football game in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

Michael Thomas has missed the feeling of the end zone.

Thomas has followed up one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history with another strong campaign, staying among the league leaders in receptions and yards throughout the season.

Touchdowns were the only thing missing. When Thomas hauled in a 10-yard score from Brees in the second quarter, the score was his first since a Week 4 touchdown against the Dolphins in London. 

"It meant a lot to finally get back in that end zone," Thomas said. "It's a fun place. I see a lot of guys getting in there, the running backs getting in and jumping in the stands. Getting in there is a blessing."

Thomas, who finished the game with five catches for 70 yards, didn't have any kind of celebration planned for his first score in months.

Running back Alvin Kamara wanted Thomas to pull off a Fleur-de-Leap into the stands, but the receiver settled for tossing the ball to a fan, Charlotte Schexnayder.

"I was looking at it like, 'where do you think I should jump at," Thomas said. "Then I said, I'm just tossing this ball to her."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.