In what is considered a way-too-early and exciting prediction, Twitter user MoreForYouCleveland advances an interesting theory about the Cleveland Browns participating in next year’s Hall of Fame Game despite the fact it is a year away.
Given the fact that Browns legend Joe Thomas will be on the 2023 Hall of Fame ballot and should get in during his first year of eligibility, it is not unrealistic to think the Browns could play in the Hall of Fame Game to kick off the weekend of celebrations in Thomas’s honor.
Don’t be shocked if the #Browns are playing in the HOF game in 2023 with it being Joe Thomas’s induction year.
— MoreForYouCleveland (@MoreForYou_CLE) August 5, 2022
Zac Jackson also shared a similar prediction earlier this summer when the Browns team took a field trip to Canton during mandatory minicamp and practiced in the stadium.
The Browns practice in Canton inside The Artist Formerly Known as Fawcett Stadium.
(It will always be Fawcett Stadium)
I assume they’ll be back next summer for the Hall of Fame Game to coincide with the induction of Joe Thomas.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) June 15, 2022
Nick Pedone also predicted this back in February when the 2022 Hall of Fame Game participants were announced.
Would fully expect the #Browns to play in the 2023 Hall of Fame game.
The induction of Joe Thomas will turn Canton brown and orange. https://t.co/c9tqIiNLlu
— Nick Pedone (@NickPedone12) February 28, 2022
Of course, a lot can happen between now and then.
The first thing that must happen is that Thomas gets in on the first ballot.
Will Thomas Get In?
Thomas’s career was legendary with the only drawback being that he did not win a Super Bowl.
Some of his noteworthy peers, also eligible for the first time in 2023, are Super Bowl Champions.
Here are just some of the notable players that will be on the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2023. pic.twitter.com/hq1PbPwn8V
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 11, 2022
However, Thomas is believed to be the best in his era to play his position.
He also played 10 straight seasons with the Browns and 10,363 consecutive offensive snaps; Thomas was the Iron Man of his position.
A year from now, Joe Thomas will stroll into the Hall of Fame as the best offensive lineman of his generation.
When other offensive linemen talk about how it's done, they point to Joe Thomas. The ultimate compliment.
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) August 5, 2022
Browns Are Due To Play In HOF Game
The Browns have not played in the HOF Game since reentering the NFL in 1999 so they are due to be a participant in the near future.
🏈August 9th 1999
Cleveland 20 – Cowboys 17 (OT)
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
Fawcett Stadium – Canton, Ohio
After a 3 season hiatus, the Cleveland Browns franchise was back in the NFL.
— 90’s Dallas Cowboys (@90s_cowboys) August 10, 2021
They have five appearances in the game with a 2-3 record overall.
Those appearances were as follows:
- A 1963 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers
- A 1967 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles
- A 1981 victory over the Atlanta Falcons
- A 1990 loss to the Chicago Bears
- A 1999 victory over the Dallas Cowboys
If all of this happens, Canton will certainly be draped in brown and orange next year at this time.