Joe Thomas long ago earned the title of NFL Iron Man. He has never missed a game since the Browns made him the third overall pick in 2007.
In fact, the left tackle has never missed a play in starting all 161 games.
He has played 9,996 consecutive snaps, believed to be the longest such streak in NFL history, and will hit 10,000 early in Sunday’s game. (Imagine if he had played with a good offense all those years what his play count might total. As it is, the Browns have averaged 62 offensive snaps per game in his 11 seasons.)
“He is amazing,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said, via quotes distributed by the team. “You guys know how I feel about Joe Thomas. What he has done and how he has done it is remarkable to me. We are talking about a guy who has never missed a snap. That is kind of unheard of. I see guys come out for things where I go, ‘Whoa.’ Now, it amazes me if anybody ever comes out of a game having been around Joe Thomas and seeing what he has done. I think our players see that, too. I think a lot of that rubs off in our locker room. You talk about a guy who is an iron man? That is a true iron man. That is truly what it is all about.”
Thomas remains at the top of his game, having earned Pro Bowl honors in every season. He allowed only one pressure in last week’s game, a sack by Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, in 41 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.