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This is not the real Earl Thomas, this is just a tribute

Earl Thomas Will Be Missed

Earl Thomas will be missed the rest of this season. We'll be here waiting for you when you come back!

Posted by Field Gulls: For Seattle Seahawks News and Analysis on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season. He was the second player ever drafted by John Schneider, one of three players left from the 2010 roster (Kam Chancellor, Jon Ryan), and no doubt will be a fixture of Seattle sports for as long as sports exist in Seattle. The above video (if you did not realize it was a video, click play) by Jeff Collet exemplifies Earl’s impact on the team as best it can, but nothing can really get across how special of a player he is.

This is just a tribute.

(For another tribute, re-read my 30 under 30 on Thomas from before the season)

A few weeks ago, Rob Gronkowski’s season ended on a hit from Thomas, who is roughly 70 pounds lighter than him. On Sunday, he had one more big hit left him in, this time on the 240-lb receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

The Seahawks will move on this year and I believe still prove to be a favorite to win their second championship in four seasons, but Thomas’ impact will still be immeasurable. He’ll be there in spirit but also be there physically because, you know, he can still kick it on the sidelines and give Steven Terrell notes.

Teams have to learn how to live without their best players. The New England Patriots without Rob Gronkowski. The Houston Texans without J.J. Watt. The Detroit Lions without Calvin Johnson. (Though they had some lead-up for that.) It’s a part of the game. Selfishly, I hope Thomas does not retire. That would truly hurt the heart to know that in theory, he should have 10 or more seasons left. But it’s up to him and we can’t judge him for how he chooses to go about his life and career, if he simply doesn’t want to risk long-term effects for a game when he’s already made enough money to support his whole family for a long time, that’s his choice.

I have a hard time believing he will retire (he reiterated that it’s under consideration) but if he does, we have a large collection of memories that show what makes him so special.