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An autopsy of former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas revealed he died of a seizure disorder.
Thomas was 33 when he died on December 9, 2021, just over two weeks before his birthday.
The 10-year NFL veteran was revealed to be suffering from stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, at the time of his death. However, the Fulton County medical examiner saw no connection between the two diagnoses.
CTE does not directly cause death.
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The autopsy also showed traces of nicotine and marijuana in his system, but neither would have played a role in his death.
Thomas started having seizures after a car accident in 2019, and friends and family had noticed a change in his behavior.
FORMER NFL STAR DEMARYIUS THOMAS HAD STAGE 2 CTE, FAMILY SAYS
“His mood would change and he would isolate himself sometimes as well,” his mother, Katina Stuckey Smith, told ABC News. “Demaryius was telling me, he was like, ‘Mom, I don’t know what’s going on with my body. I have to pull myself together.’ And he said, ‘I don’t feel like myself anymore.'”
Thomas was a four-time Pro Bowler, playing in two Super Bowls and winning one. He had at least 1,000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2016.
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He played 8 and a half seasons with the Broncos before finishing the 2018 season with the Houston Texans. He played for the New York Jets in 2019. He signed with the New England Patriots but never played in a regular season game for them.