The Cleveland Browns have been arguably the worst NFL franchise for the past 10 years, but they've had one piece of consistency — left tackle Joe Thomas. The stalwart offensive lineman is about to make history, as he's just four snaps away from playing 10,000 consecutive plays.
Here's the note shared by the Cleveland Browns ahead of the milestone:
"LT Joe Thomas extended his consecutive-snaps streak to 9,996, believed to be the longest streak in NFL history. Thomas has started all 161 career games and hasn’t missed an offensive play since being selected by the Browns with the third overall pick in the 2007 draft."
It's one of the most impressive stats in the NFL today. No, it doesn't get the same recognition as, say, Brett Favre's consecutive start record, but it's just as impressive.
Joe Thomas has literally played every single snap of every single game of his career. He's never missed a play. No injuries, no days off with the flu, nothing.
And to top it all, he's played for a garbage team pretty much the entirety of his career.
An All-American and Outland Trophy winner for the Wisconsin Badgers in college, Thomas was the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Browns. He stepped out of the offensive lineman factory that is Wisconsin and into the factory of sadness that is Cleveland.
He started his career with Charlie Frye under center for Cleveland , who immediately was injured and missed the rest of the season. Derek Anderson took over for the rest of the year and since then Cleveland has had 19 different starting quarterbacks, most recently Deshone Kizer. Here's the full list:
- Charlie Frye
- Derek Anderson
- Ken Dorsey
- Brady Quinn
- Bruce Gradkowski
- Colt McCoy
- Jake Delhomme
- Seneca Wallace
- Brandon Wheeden
- Thaddeus Lewis
- Jason Campbell
- Brian Hoyer
- Johnny Manziel
- Connor Shaw
- Josh McCown
- Austin Davis
- Robert Griffin III
- Cody Kessler
- Deshone Kizer
The Browns have had exactly one winning season in Thomas' tenure — his first year, when Anderson led the team to a 10-6 record after Frye went down. Since then their best years have been one 7-win season (2014) and a trio of 5-win seasons (2012, 2010 and 2009).
The Browns are 48-112 in Thomas' 10 years with the team (not including 2017), but that hasn't stopped him from piling up the accolades — he's a 10-time Pro Bowler, a 7-time first-team All-Pro and a two-time second-team All-Pro.
And he's about to play his 10,000th consecutive snap for a franchise that has failed to put any talent around him for the past nine seasons.