Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas has played 7,917 straight snaps since entering the NFL in 2007. With that kind of durability, playing through pain is par for the course for Thomas.
The eight-time Pro Bowl selection revealed during a rare off day Tuesday that he's played with a torn MCL in his knee three times during his career, plus a pair of high ankle sprains.
"The great thing about the MCL is it heals itself,'' Thomas said per Northeast Ohio Media Group. "You don't surgery unless it's really bad. You just suck it up. You're a lineman."
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Knowing what a torn knee ligament feels like gave Thomas the confidence that his most recent training camp injury wasn't serious, despite the loud scream he let out when rookie defensive tackle Danny Shelton landed on his leg during Monday's practice.
"By the time I got up, I've been hurt enough to know when you're really hurt and when you're OK, and I knew pretty quick I was OK,'' he said. "When you have 700 pounds falling on your leg, you're pretty concerned. But once I got up I knew it wasn't too bad. It's just kind of a minor little ding more than anything. But I should be back in a couple days.''
Thomas didn't even require an MRI after the scare at Monday's practice. There is still a chance he may play in Thursday's preseason opener against Washington, although it wouldn't be surprising if head coach Mike Pettine errs on the side of caution and keeps Thomas on the sideline.