Aug 4, 2023 - Sports

Joe Thomas humbled, grateful to enter Hall of Fame

A true Hall of Famer. Photo: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Imges

Cleveland Browns great Joe Thomas spent his NFL career protecting a revolving array of bad quarterbacks on a team that found itself, more often than not, in last place.

  • Tomorrow, it will all have been worth it.

Driving the news: Thomas will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the annual enshrinement ceremony at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton.

Why it matters: He is the 18th Hall of Famer in Browns history, but the first from the expansion era.

Flashback: The Browns drafted Thomas from the University of Wisconsin with the third pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

  • Though Hall of Fame careers are often defined by Super Bowl rings, Thomas played as an offensive tackle on a team that went 48-128 during his 11-season career and never made the playoffs.

Yes, but: The Wisconsin native instead built his career on being an iron man.

By the numbers: Thomas made first-team All-Pro six times and the Pro Bowl 10 times.

  • He also holds the record for most consecutive snaps by any player in NFL history with 10,363.

Between the lines: Thomas has also been a pillar of the Cleveland community through various children's charities, including the Cleveland Kids in Need Resource Center and Providence House.

The latest: Thomas has also been active in his support for the military. Earlier this summer he visited Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio and observed a K-9 military unit to raise awareness for USAA.

What he's saying: "I just feel really fortunate," Thomas tells Axios. "There are so many things that have to fall in place to become a Hall of Famer."

  • "I feel enormously grateful to have some tremendous coaches and teammates along the way that were super-instrumental in helping guide me to become a player that could make the Hall of Fame."

If you go: Tickets for the ceremony are still available for as low as $35.

  • The event will air live on ESPN and the NFL Network.

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