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Former Titans running back passes away at 41

Rodney Thomas, the former Tennessee Titans running back died today at the age of 41.

Thomas died Saturday at the home in Groveton, a small East Texas town where he grew up, that he bought for his mother after signing his first contract. The cause of death wasn’t known and an autopsy was underway.

The Oilers selected the Texas A&M running back in the 3rd round of the 1995 draft, and he ran for 947 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season. The team finished the season 7-9, though, and drafted Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George in the first round the following spring, making Thomas a backup.

Thomas remained with the team as a backup after it moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, but eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a season only once more, when he ran for 310 yards during the Titans’ 1997 campaign.

He played in Super Bowl XXIV, when the Titans lost to the Rams, and played his seventh and final season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. He finished his career with 1,973 rushing yards, 631 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Thomas will be missed, and it is horrible to lose anyone, but especially a Father on Father’s Day. RIP Rodney Thomas

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