CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas suffered an injury to his left triceps in the third quarter of Sunday’s 12-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium, and the reigning ironman of the NFL was unable to return to the game.
Until Thomas undergoes further testing Monday, he is unsure what the future holds.
“I think it is too early to tell right now,” Thomas said. “We will get an MRI tomorrow, look at it, and then, be able to tell a little bit more what the injury was.
“Certainly, it was a more unlikely injury. As a lineman, you get a lot of lower-body injuries. You get knees and ankles and hips. If you were a betting man, you would probably expect the injury to keep you out would be something with your lower body. Freak injuries happen. I think it was probably just a freak injury.”
On first-and-10 from Tennessee’s 27-yard line, Browns running back Duke Johnson ran behind the left side of the offensive line for a three-yard gain. Thomas emerged from the pile holding his left arm and writhing in pain as he fell to the turf.
Attended to for several moments on the field, Thomas was helped to his feet and walked to the sidelines while talking with Browns medical personal.
“Just a routine run play,” Thomas said. “I have done it a million times where you are going to block a guy and you are trying to finish him and get one last push, one last shove and just felt something unnatural in your arm.
“You kind of just are in an out-of-body experience. I think you have an idea of what happened at least, and you are trying to figure out if it is something you can continue on with, if you can keep playing. Effectively, I did not have any function in my left arm. I think you can play with about 30 to 40 percent function in one arm, but when you have no function in one arm, it is hard to block edge-rushers with only one hand.”
A franchise-record 10-time Pro Bowl player, Thomas was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of the University of Wisconsin.
Prior to the injury, Thomas had played 10,363 consecutive snaps, which is believed to be the longest such streak in the history of the National Football league.
“Getting over that 10,000 milestone and going into my 11th season without missing a play is something that I always feel like I will be able to hang my hat on and be proud of,” Thomas said. “It is a violent game and those types of streaks are going to come to an end. It was not an infinity streak. There was going to be a time when it comes to an end either because of injury or just lack production.
“It was going to end. I think I was enough of a realist to understand that I was not going to be able to continue on forever without missing a play. It was just matter of time. Unfortunately, it happened in Week 7 when I wish I could have been out there to help my teammates, but it is football. Those things happen.”
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