Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer 14d

Joe Thomas back at practice as injured player/coach

BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns asked Joe Thomas to make the trip to Detroit with the team.

Thomas had surgery to repair his ruptured triceps tendon on Oct. 24, but Wednesday he was on the practice field helping tutor Spencer Drango, who stepped in at left tackle.

“Coach Thomas has a lot of experience, doesn’t he?” coach Hue Jackson said. “It is a lot of fun having him out there.”

Thomas will miss the rest of the season and go through an extensive rehab. He said he will decide after the season if he will return for 2018, but in the interim the Browns added $1.5 million to his contract for this season and next.

Thomas spoke with the Akron Beacon-Journal on Tuesday and said he’s excited to help the team where he can.

“I’m excited to kind of take on maybe a little bit of a coaching or a consulting role for the rest of the year and just trying to help those guys in any way I can, doing little special projects for the tackles or any of the linemen who want me to maybe study somebody for them and help them get ready for Sundays,” Thomas said.

“Having him out there and having him be involved is huge,” Jackson said. “As I asked him earlier in the week, I wanted to make sure he is traveling with us, going on the road and being part of this because this is still his team. Having him around and having him want to be a part of that is very important to me, to our players, to our staff and to all involved.”

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