Ten-time Pro Bowl LT Joe Thomas, a fixture for the Browns after being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007, will be honored for his on-field and off-field contributions to the Browns organization and City of Cleveland throughout Sunday's game against the Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium.
As initially announced by Dee and Jimmy Haslam when Thomas officially retired this past March, the Browns will enshrine the number "10,363" in the Browns Ring of Honor, recognizing his historic consecutive snaps played streak alongside the team's 16 Pro Football Hall of Fame selections and eight league championships. Thomas is the first player to be acknowledged in the Ring of Honor since it was established at the team's 2010 regular season home opener, while the club's titles were added to the fascia of the southeast end of FirstEnergy Stadium in 2012.
"I am extremely humbled by this honor," Thomas said. "The snap streak was not something I set out to accomplish. All I ever wanted to do was to be there for my teammates and always do everything I possibly could to help this team win. It was important to always get back up and get in the huddle even when it wasn't easy. For that number – 10,363 – to be forever on display in FirstEnergy Stadium among the likes of all-time greats like Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza is something I take great pride in."
Thomas will serve as the team's honorary Dawg Pound Captain during a break in the first quarter, when his snap streak will be officially unveiled in the team's Ring of Honor following a career highlight video.
As part of the celebration, the Browns will give away 10,363 commemorative Joe Thomas bobbleheads to fans as they enter the stadium on a first-come, first-served basis after gates open at 11 a.m. (limit one per fan, no re-entry). The bobbleheads are presented by Ohio's Dairy Farmers and Fuel Up to Play60.
Prior to the game, Thomas will be joined on the sidelines by family members, Browns alumni and former teammates and friends. In addition to other in-game elements saluting Thomas, the Ohio University Marching 110 will pay tribute to the Browns icon with a special halftime performance.
Since his retirement, Thomas has continued his connection with the Browns as he now serves as a regular contributor to official Browns media platforms.
Each Monday at 1 p.m. ET during the 2018 regular season, Thomas provides Browns fans his insight and analysis during an hour-long segment on Cleveland Browns Daily. The radio program's "Joe Thomas Hour," is presented by Elk & Elk. Additionally, he shares his football expertise through various Browns radio, TV and digital elements created by the team throughout the year and has a consistent presence at FirstEnergy Stadium and the team's facility in Berea.
"I am stoked to be a part of Browns' programing," said Thomas. "When I announced my retirement back in March, I said that I would always be a Cleveland Brown. This organization means so much to me and I am thrilled that I can still remain extremely close with the team."
Hosted by Nathan Zegura and Beau Bishop live from the team's facility in Berea, Cleveland Browns Daily – presented by JACK, the team's official entertainment partner – airs weekdays on ESPN 850 WKNR from 1-3 p.m.
Thomas became the fifth player and the only lineman in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl each of his first 10 seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Mel Renfro and Merlin Olsen. Thomas' 10 Pro Bowls are a team record, surpassing Hall of Famers Jim Brown (nine) and Lou Groza (nine). Thomas was the longest tenured member of the Browns and was selected to the Associated Press All-Pro team eight times, including six first-team honors.
The third overall pick in the 2007 draft, Thomas played every offensive snap for the Browns from his rookie season through Week 7 in 2017, when he sustained a torn triceps that ended his consecutive snaps streak at 10,363. His Iron Man stretch, which consisted of 167 consecutive games, is believed to be the longest consecutive snaps streak in NFL history.
While his accomplishments on the football field are marked in NFL history, Thomas' impactful contributions and commitment to the Cleveland community have been just as meaningful. He is the only player in team history to earn the Walter Payton Man of the Year distinction multiple times (2010, 2012 and 2016), and was selected as one of three finalists for the 2012 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He is also the only player in team history to be voted as the PFWA Dino Lucarelli Good Guy award winner multiple times (2010 and 2013), an award for cooperation with the media and community involvement. In addition, Thomas was named the Browns Player of the Year by the local PFWA in 2014 and 2016 and was a finalist for the 2017 NFL Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The Browns' 2016 and 2017 Salute to Service Award recipient, Thomas has been highly involved in the team's programs supporting military members and their families since joining Cleveland. In 2010, he embarked on a 10,000-mile, week-long trip to visit troops stationed throughout the Middle East as part of the NFL/USO Tour. Thomas has also engaged in multiple military appreciation opportunities through the team's First and Ten program as well as creating a season ticket program, "Thomas' Troops," which provided members of the USO of Northern Ohio who were deployed or would soon be deployed and their families free tickets throughout the season for each Browns home game.
Thomas and his wife, Annie, have impacted countless lives as major contributors to the Cleveland Kids in Need Resource Center, the Providence House, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL) and numerous other organizations.