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Training Camp

Browns OT Joe Thomas walks away from injury scare with humor intact

No matter what happened Monday, Joe Thomas wasn't going to practice Tuesday.

It just so happened Monday's practice ended with a scare that prompted immediate speculation about whether the Browns left tackle's enduring snaps streak was in peril. Thomas let out a scream when 349-pound rookie Danny Shelton tumbled into his leg during an 11-on-11 drill and was quickly examined on the sidelines. He walked off the field under his own power, but uncertainty lingered until Mike Pettine and the Browns confirmed later in the day that it wasn't a serious injury.

That anxiety just never got around to Thomas, who quickly realized he wasn't seriously hurt.

"When you have 700 pounds falling on your leg, you are pretty concerned," Thomas said after Tuesday's practice. "But once I got up, I knew it wasn't too bad.

"It is just about every year you get rolled up, but it is not always that the media and fans are at practice where they diagnose everything."

One of the main reasons why Thomas was so confident it wasn't serious? He's had serious knee issues before, most of which he's discretely played through during his eight-years-and-counting run as the Browns' cornerstone left tackle.

Thomas, who tore his ACL as a junior at the University of Wisconsin, said he's torn his MCL three times and suffered two high ankle sprains over the past eight seasons.

How's he done it?

"You suck it up. You're a lineman," Thomas said. "The great part about being a lineman is you need to be quick and fast, but you don't need to be that quick and fast. If you lose a little bit because you're hurting, you can make it up with technique."

Whether or not Thomas plays Thursday in the Browns' preseason opener against Washington remains to be determined. His status for that game won't have anything to do with the injury, coach Mike Pettine said.

Thomas, who has received a day off from practice roughly every three days since training camp opened, was adamant he'd be more than ready to extend his streak of 7,924 plays without a missed snap if Thursday's game counted toward the Browns' 2015 record. Looking ahead to the rest of the preseason, Thomas didn't make any guarantees about how much he'd play, but stressed he enjoyed playing the game and said it'd "only be fair" to the rest of the first-team offense that he play if he's fully healthy.

"I don't think (the streak) is more important to me than just the pride I have of being out there with my line mates and doing what I can to try and help my team win," Thomas said. "That is really the pressure I feel, not necessarily any individual streak."

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