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Zach Thomas practices...but should he play?

The Sun-Sentinel, as well as other sources, reported earlier today that Zach Thomas did participate in full pads in practice today.  He did wear a helmet restrictor, which is a pad that prevents his head from jolting backwards upon making contact or hitting the ground.  It's unknown at this time how much of practice Thomas participated in and whether or not he has been medically cleared to play on Sunday.

But this raises another question.  Should Zach Thomas play on Sunday even if he is medically cleared.  Omar Kelly doesn't think so:

I'm told Thomas is the type of guy who would try to play with a broken limb, or in the middle of a concussion (like he did against Dallas). But for the sake of his long term health I don't want Thomas on the field on Sunday, even if the team doctors clear him and the defense continues to look lost without him.

Yes that means I'd rather the Dolphins go 0-4 than put the team's best defender on the field and gambling on a 15 percent change he worsens his condition.

What's an extra week to allow his head to stop throbbing?

My guess is Thomas will say he's healthier than he is, even with his newfound knowledge of concussions, and rush himself onto the field. What hurt athletes doesn't say he's healthier than he really is?

My fear is that he'll suffer another crushing blow that couple possible sideline him for the rest of the season, if not cause more permanent damage. Think Dan Morgan!

My rational is that I remember a linebacker once told me playing that position is like standing in the middle of the intersection and expecting to be involved in 20 collisions during the game. This is Thomas' world, the one he loves. The one he'll sacrifice just about anything for.

I'd hate to see his desire to play, his yearning to help his beloved team get its first win of the season, limit the quality of life he can have after his career is done.

Some interesting points are made here and it's easy to see Omar's side of the story.  But it's also easy to see the other point of view; the one which says if the doctors medically clear him to play, he should play.

I'm no doctor and I won't even try to understand what goes into deciding if Thomas will be medically cleared.  But what I do know is this: if the medical staff says Thomas is ready to play without restrictions, then I can't sit here and say I think Zach should still sit out another week.  And, really, nobody can say that.  This decision has to be made by Thomas and whoever he feels should have say in it (wife, family, friends, etc).  If Zach is cleared to play and decides he wants to play, I'm all for it.  If Zach thinks that sitting out another week will do him good and lower any future risks, I'm all for that as well.  My point here is that Zach is a grown man and shouldn't have to listen all week to people talk about whether he should or shouldn't play.  It's his decision and whatever he decides will satisfy me.  After all, who am I to judge a grown man's decision?  

Your thoughts below.  This is an interesting topic and I'm curious to hear all your points of view.