Joe Thomas Sees Historic Streak End With Reported Torn Tricep

The Cleveland Browns’ latest run through the Factory of Sadness took its greatest casualty yet yesterday afternoon in yet another embarrassing game for a regime that is currently 1-22 over the course of the first 23 games of its tenure.

Hue Jackson’s time in Cleveland has been so bad that it claimed the longest known snap streak in NFL history, owned by 2017 first-round left tackle Joe Thomas, who from the first snap of his career to at some point yesterday never came off the field, playing over 10,000 consecutive plays, an astounding feat that I honored after it happened.

It is quite sad that it has now come to an end—to be specific, at 10,363 snaps—against the Titans with what is reportedly a torn tricep. That injury can end careers, or at least be the beginning of the end of one, resulting in recurring injuries in the future.

Thomas, annually and justifiably classified as One Of The Good Guys™, has by rights been the face of the franchise for the past decade. Frankly, he is by far the longest-tenured player there, after all, and has been, every year over the span of his 11-year career, the best player on the field.

The likely first-ballot Hall-of-Famer suffered the injury to his left arm with a little under six minutes to play in the third quarter in Cleveland while grappling with a defender blocking for a run. According to Pat McManamon, he told reporters that “he lost the use of his left arm, which would be a symptom of a tendon tear”.

“I really didn’t have any function in my left arm”, he said after the game. “I think you can play about 30 or 40 percent function with your one arm, but when you have no function in one arm, it’s hard to block edge rushers with only one hand”. I am going to take his word for it.

His left guard, Joel Bitonio, described Thomas’ stability and long-term healthiness as “honestly a miracle in its own self”. He told reporters that the veteran “really held the team together”, saying, “for as many losses as he’s endured, for his spirit to come into work every day and be part of the team and just be his cheery self…to try and bring the guys around him…it’s really tough”.

Many, many, many great players have chosen to flee Cleveland in free agency, and it is said to be a destination in which free agency frequently turn down more money in order to play with a more competitive team. That Thomas has stayed put through such dismal failure is, to paraphrase Bitonio, yet another miracle unto itself.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    That’s what ended keisels career. Side note. Met him again for like the 4th time at the stadium yesterday.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    Really disappointing news. A player of his excellence and reliability is a rare commodity. Probably the most low profile superstar I can recall. I remember him not being at the draft even though he was invited, as he was assured to be a very high pick. He opted to go fishing with his dad instead. Lol. Hope he’s able to make a full recovery. The league is better with a guy like Joe Thomas in it.

  • Conserv_58

    I have have had the utmost respect and admiration for the tremendously talented player and outstanding person Joe Thomas is. He’s going to retire knowing that he will be a first ballot H.O.F. player, especially one that played for the worst team in the NFL.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I’m a big fan of Thomas. And his streak was incredible. Truly remarkable. The fact that such a storied and distinguished career has essentially been wasted in Cleveland, just adds to the sadness, indeed. The win/loss record since he has been there in no way should or does have any reflection upon him. The vast array of coaches and QB’s that have come and gone, and he has been the stable rock, protecting the blindsides. It was a very strange feeling that came over me when I heard the news yesterday. And this is coming from a Steelers fan. I can only imagine the pain for a Browns fan. I would be heartened if this was only a bump in his road and that he came back as good as ever.

  • Iulo

    very sad…. Alex Mack at least got his ride to the SB when he left Cleveland… but he may be not healthy enough to play any more snaps…

  • TheGURU

    Mans a warrior

  • PaeperCup

    Thomas is one of my favorite non-Steeler players. We are fortunate to be able to see him twice a year. Really unfortunate that this happened, but man, what a streak.

  • AndyR34

    Even as a Steeler fan, how does one not love and admire Thomas! A great human being in addition to his athletic ability. He wouldn’t like it but he should be honored by every team the Browns face the rest of the year. Best wishes for a sound revovery, Mr. Thomas!

  • nutty32

    What will Browns fans talk about now? It was getting kind of pathetic having an entire fan base drone on about a left tackle every week, every season. Joe Thomas deserves a paid vaction; he’s earned it for sure.