55-year-old college running back fulfills dream

With a 3-yard gain, South Carolina State running back Joe Thomas Sr., the 55-year-old father of Green Bay Packers linebacker Joe Thomas Jr., fulfilled his dream Saturday.

Joe Sr. took the field against Savannah State on senior day as the oldest walk-on running back for South Carolina State, where Joe Jr. played from 2010 to 2013.

His son was scheduled to be on the Packers' team plane headed for Sunday's game at Washington.

"I am a little worried," Joe Jr. said Friday. "I know his body might be a little fragile. I'm going to try to get the coach not to run him on one of those stretch plays. I'm going to try to get him to run straight downhill."

Joe Jr. has been with the Packers since 2015.

He said his father was an entrepreneur in South Carolina with a construction company and a training facility until the recession wiped out his business. Four years ago, his father decided to pursue a degree -- he's studying engineering -- and revive his athletic career.

"It's been crazy for me," Joe Jr. said. "I never thought you'd see a 55-year-old running back. I'm just proud of him. He made his mind up to do something and stuck to it."
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