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Joe Thomas expected to decide 'fairly soon' on future

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Browns house burning question marks at quarterback, safety, wide receiver, running back and a flock of other positions.

Will Cleveland be forced to add left tackle to the list?

With All-Pro bookend Joe Thomas still pondering his future on the field, Browns coach Hue Jackson says the team will be ready for anything.

"I've talked to Joe Thomas several times and I think Joe is going to make a decision, hopefully, fairly soon here. But, again, it's on his time," Jackson said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Joe has been a tremendous Cleveland Brown and has done anything and everything we've asked of him. So, I think it's only right that we give him the opportunity to work through this and make the best decision for him."

Although Thomas hasn't made a decision, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that Thomas is preparing to play, and those who know him well believe he'll be back for 2018.

A bona fide iron man, Thomas saw his streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps broken in October when he suffered a season-ending triceps injury. In the months since, the 2007 first-round pick has actively pursued a career in the media -- and lost weight in the process.

"Am I alarmed by it? No, I've seen him putting it back on out here recently," Jackson said. "He's Joe. He knows how to get himself ready to play if he decides to play. For us as an organization, we're going to do everything we can to be prepared whether he plays or he doesn't play. And I think that's what our responsibility is."

Said Jackson: "I think he understands that, too, because he wants the best for the organization as well. So, I think he'll come out and let us know here fairly soon about what he wants to do."

Thomas has been a loyal, positive force for the Browns through a thousand on-field losses and nearly as many failed quarterbacks. If he decides to walk away, the next stop -- Canton, Ohio -- won't be far behind.

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