Joe Thomas plays record 10,000th consecutive snap for Browns

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas notched a remarkable milestone on Sunday afternoon: 10,000 straight snaps in an NFL career.

Think about that for a second. Thomas hasn’t missed a snap in a game since he began playing for the Browns in 2007. He’s avoided injury and decline; he’s played on a decade’s worth of wretched teams, and he’s made the Pro Bowl 10 times. It’s an achievement unlike any other in NFL history.


“I’m not sure what all the commotion is about,” Thomas said Thursday, embodying the just-a-lunchpail-totin’-dude ethic that this kind of streak demands. “I’m just a guy that shows up and does his job every day, hoping I can set a good example for my teammates.”

Thomas has played with a range of injuries, and during that time, the Browns have gone a woeful 48-113. He still hasn’t made the playoffs yet, which seems like a crime.

“I’ve never considered not being out there and not helping the team,” Thomas said earlier in the week. “Unless I absolutely can’t do it, I will be out there. That’s just the way I was raised, but it does get frustrating at times when a guy doesn’t play because he doesn’t feel good. To that, I say, ‘I hardly ever feel good and I’m out there.'”

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How long does it take to amass 10,000 snaps in the NFL? Consider that when Thomas began playing for Cleveland in 2007:

• The NFL’s top players included Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Vick, and Terrell Owens.

• Tim Tebow was playing his Heisman-winning season at Florida, and Jameis Winston was just entering eighth grade.

• The Browns started Derek Anderson at quarterback. Since then, they’ve started another 19 quarterbacks, including current QB DeShone Kizer, who was in sixth grade in 2007.

• LeBron James was only a few weeks removed from his first NBA Finals; he hadn’t yet left Cleveland, returned, or (possibly) left again, but not before congratulating Thomas.

• George W. Bush was president.

• The age of the movie superheroes hadn’t even begun, since the first “Iron Man” hadn’t been released yet.

• No one had any idea who Justin Bieber was.

Ah, simpler times. Congrats to Thomas on an amazing, and unlikely-to-be-duplicated, achievement.

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Joe Thomas has played a long, long, long time for Cleveland. (AP)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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