ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died of “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to an autopsy report from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office (Ga.).
Parts of the report were shared with ESPN on Friday. Thomas was found dead in his home in Roswell, Georgia on December 9 at the age of 33, and an autopsy was performed the next day.
In December, the medical examiner’s office released a statement that “the cause and manner of death are pending completion of laboratory studies and microscopic tissue samples.” In the final report, the medical examiner said how Thomas died remained undetermined and it was unknown whether the seizure disorder was the result of natural causes and due to impacts to Thomas’ head during his life. career in the NFL.
Last month, Boston University researchers told ABC News that Thomas suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, but said CTE did not cause his death. The autopsy report indicates that these same researchers said they did not believe Thomas’ CTE caused the seizure disorder.
The autopsy report revealed that Thomas, who was found dead in the shower, had traces of nicotine and marijuana in his system, but neither was listed as a contributing factor in his death.
At the time of his death, some of Thomas’ family members publicly stated that he suffered from seizures for about a year before he died. Several former teammates also said at the time that Thomas told them he had suffered seizures in recent months.
Thomas’ signature smile and ever-present desire for those in need have made him one of the franchise’s most popular players in the community. His death sent shockwaves through the NFL and Denver.
Thomas, who would have turned 34 by Christmas, announced his retirement from the NFL last June with a short video in which he gave a peace sign and a smile.
Thomas was the first of two first-round picks for the Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft — Tim Tebow was the other — and spent nine seasons with the team. He finished his career as the Broncos’ second-best receiver (9,055 yards), behind only Rod Smith. He is third in franchise history in catches (655) behind Smith and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
Thomas played 10 total seasons with the Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Jets and finished with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.