Bryan Thomas could well be known as “former Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas” in two weeks.
Last season, an Achilles tendon injury in Week 4 sidelined Thomas for the remainder of the season and this year the veteran linebacker has been plagued by hamstring injuries and most recently a left pectoral injury. Entering his 11th season in the league, Thomas had been durable for the Jets, playing 16 games for seven seasons. He has been limited to 15 games over the past two seasons.
Thomas will be 34 years old by the start of next season and is openly contemplating retirement.
“I’m going to think about it after the last game ends, get a little rest then start thinking about. The injuries -- going from not missing games the past two years, it has been tough,” Thomas told Metro. “Experiencing what I experienced last year and now the hamstring and the shoulder, wow. The [right] shoulder, I’ve had problems with that. But now, man, all I can say is this is tough. I’m not used to this at all.”
Thomas, usually outspoken if not downright giddy in the Jets locker room, sat quietly at his locker on Thursday. He slowly took the tape off his ankles and stopped, looking up to take in the scene of his teammates interacting with each other. Rarely glum, this has been a season of hurt for Thomas who has played through the pain to register 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks in limited playing time. He had the look and feel of a player soaking in the experience of the locker room, knowing that perhaps this might be one of his last practices in the NFL.
On Thursday, he told Metro that he got “a couple snaps in in practice,” but the injuries are clearly weighing on him and limiting his effect.
He signed a one-year contract with the Jets this offseason and in a roster move for one game, an injured Thomas was cut in September. The Jets quickly re-signed him days later but he’s been limited by injuries since.
“When stuff starts adding up back-to-back with the injuries, it isn’t a good sign,” Thomas said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. It is a tough decision but I’ve never gone through anything like I’m going through now. I just don’t know man.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.