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Joe Thomas on memory loss: 'I'm just trying to be honest with myself'

Joe Thomas will closely monitor his memory loss to ensure what he's feeling does not get worse while he plays for the Cleveland Browns, the Pro Bowl left tackle said late last week.

"I'm just trying to be honest with myself without being an alarmist," Thomas said.

Thomas admitted in an April 26 interview with Graham Bensinger that he is experiencing memory loss at the age of 32. However, he said he's not sure if what he feels is a result of playing left tackle in the NFL since 2007, or simply living life.

"I think it's something to be aware of in light of the number of hits an offensive lineman takes throughout his career," Thomas said. "It's important though, that I don't talk myself into anything.

"Managing any symptoms and using the best treatment available I'm sure will be important if I notice any worsening of symptoms."

Thomas declined to give specifics about medical care other than to say he would monitor his situation closely and seek the best care possible when appropriate. Thomas told Bensinger the issues he deals with are short-term, like having a hard time remembering things that happened recently or going to the grocery store and not remembering what he needed to buy.

"These are really complex questions," Thomas said. "All I know is I don't have the memory I used to have when I was 22. Is it because I have so many more things going on in my life, so many more distractions? Is it because of my football career? Is it because a poor memory is genetic? Is it just part of the natural aging process?

"All of these questions are unanswered at this point. That's why I say, I'm aware of it, and monitoring it, but I'm not too bent out of shape about it because it's not really affecting my life, other than the fact that I have to write everything down."

Some former NFL players have described memory loss as part of their post-NFL life. Former Colts and Bengals tight end Ben Utecht, 35, has written a book called "Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away." Utecht told SI.com that he started experiencing memory loss in 2007, two years before the last of his five concussions in his pro and college career ended his football career.

In April, former Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett told Outside the Lines that he has memory loss. His symptoms include getting on a plane and not remembering the destination, or getting lost driving his children to events. Dorsett played 11 seasons and retired in 1988.

Thomas has not missed a snap with the Browns since he was drafted third overall in 2007. He has said he accepts the risks involved with playing the sport he has chosen for his profession.

"It's a tough topic without many answers at this point," Thomas said.