CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas may be out of the remainder of the season because of a torn triceps tendon in his left arm, but that is not stopping him from imparting 11 years’ worth of National Football League knowledge to his teammates.
And that includes serving as a guest coach during Wednesday’s practice, where he helped the offensive linemen get ready for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
“Coach Thomas? Coach Thomas has a lot of experience, doesn’t he?” Browns coach Hue Jackson said with a laugh after Wednesday’s practice. “It is a lot of fun having him out there. Joe, as I keep telling you guys, is a huge part of what we do in not just we wish he was out there for us, but the players, he is a mentor to a lot of these guys in a lot of different ways.”
Last December, Thomas was selected to his 10th straight Pro Bowl, making it 10 for 10 in all-star game nods since entering the league via the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of the University of Wisconsin. Thomas was the first Browns player ever selected to participate in 10 Pro Bowls.
Prior to the injury, Thomas played 10,363 consecutive snaps, which is believed to be the longest such streak in the history of the National Football League.
“Having him out there and having him be involved is huge,” Jackson said. “As I asked him earlier in the week, I wanted to make sure he is traveling with us, going on the road and being part of this because this is still his team. Having him around and having him want to be a part of that is very important to me, to our players, to our staff and to all involved.”
According to Jackson, Thomas is doing what is possible to stay involved because “he misses it.”
“Joe Thomas is a football player,” Jackson said. “This is all he has ever known. The guy hasn’t missed many snaps (laughter). He hadn’t missed any snaps until this happened, so that is what is in his blood.
“He is a football player by trade and a mentor and a coach when he is not. I think it is hard to let that go. He is invited to anything we have. He knows that. He can run the meeting if he wants. As long as you give him the right information, we are all good.”
Although Thomas will not be able to step onto the field for game action, Jackson is hopeful he will play a part in Sunday’s game.
“I have asked him to,” Jackson said of Thomas travelling to Detroit for Sunday’s game. “I’m sure he will. He can do that.”
© 2017 WKYC-TV