Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas has been named a starter on the 2011 AFC Pro Bowl squad, the league announced today.
Thomas has been selected to the Pro Bowl in all four of his NFL seasons. He has not missed an offensive snap since joining the Browns as the third overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft. A co-captain on offense, Thomas has opened all 15 contests this season at left tackle and has helped pave the way for five individual 100-yard rushing performances and a running game that has averaged 4.0 yards per attempt.
Thomas is one of 19 Browns to earn Pro Bowl honors four or more times and just one of five Browns’ offensive linemen (Lou Groza 1951-56, Abe Gibron 1953-56, Dick Schafrath 1964-69, Gene Hickerson 1966-71) to earn four or more consecutive trips. The last Browns player to be named to four consecutive Pro Bowls was cornerback Frank Minnefield, who earned the honor for the 1987-90 Pro Bowls.
In addition, running back Peyton Hillis and offensive linemen Alex Mack and Eric Steinbach were named second alternates. Kick return specialist Joshua Cribbs, special teamer Ray Ventrone and fullback Lawrence Vickers were selected as third alternates and defensive back Joe Haden was tabbed as a fourth alternate.