Ex-Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died at home aged 33 from ‘complications of a seizure disorder’ and not degenerative brain disease CTE
- Demaryius Thomas was suffering from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he died at home in December at the age of 33.
- The former Broncos star collapsed and died in his shower last year
- Thomas suffered from amnesia, paranoia and isolation in his last years
- Autopsy found he died of ‘complications of a seizure disorder’
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died of “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to the Fulton County medical examiner’s office in Atlanta.
Thomas was found dead in the shower of his home in Roswell, Georgia on December 9. He was 33 years old. Shortly after his death, the Thomas family released a statement that he had suffered from recurring seizures since a car accident in 2019, and they believed he died after suffering a seizure.
Last month, researchers from Boston University confirmed that Thomas suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, but stated that his death was probably not caused by it.
The autopsy report confirmed these suspicions, stating that the CTE did not cause the seizure disorder or his death.
The autopsy also indicated traces of marijuana and nicotine in Thomas’s system, according to Denver television station KUSA.
A four-time Pro Bowl roster, Thomas played nine seasons with the Broncos and won Super Bowl 50 with Denver. He registered 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns in 143 career games with the Broncos, Texans and New York Jets.
Former Broncos wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Demaryius Thomas died of ‘complications of seizure disorder’, autopsy has revealed
Demaryius Thomas (88) of the Denver Broncos leaves the field with his mother, Katina Smith, and father, Bobby Thomas, after winning Super Bowl 50 in February 2016
Aside from his accolades on the field, he was known for his huge smile and work in the Denver community.
Thomas is now one of several former NFL players whose deaths have been linked to CTE, although it is unknown whether Thomas’s problems were caused by football or his car accident in 2019.
Boston University researchers had previously revealed that Thomas suffered from stage 2 CTE, but they did not believe it played a role in the seizures that ultimately led to Thomas’s death.
“He had two different conditions at the same time,” Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University at the New York Times last month, explaining that seizures are not typically associated with CTE.
Former NFL receiver Vincent Jackson (pictured) also suffered Stage 2 CTE when he was found dead from chronic alcohol use in February 2021 at the age of 38.
Several notable players who committed suicide were posthumously diagnosed with the disease, such as Junior Seau (left) and Aaron Hernandez (right)
It’s worth noting that Vincent Jackson, who played for Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the then-San Diego Charges before moving to LA, who was also found dead in February 2021, was also diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE.
Jackson’s cause of death at age 38 was cited as chronic alcohol use.
In 2017, a Boston University study diagnosed CTE in 110 of 111 former NFL players who died as part of the largest-ever case series on the disease.
Several players posthumously diagnosed with the disease committed suicide, such as former Patriots tight end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez, as well as All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest to save his brain for CTE investigators. .
Another former NFL player, Phillip Adams, was found to suffer from the same condition when he killed five people and then killed himself in South Carolina last year.
In December, following Thomas’s death, Jackson’s family revealed that he had fought CTE before his sudden death.
Both the NFL and NCAA have been working to reduce full-contact practice reps for players in an effort to reduce the apparent risks of CTE.
Ex-Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez suffered stage 3 CTE at the time of his suicide, according to Boston University doctors, while his former teammate Phillip Adams had stage 2 when he committed suicide in South Carolina earlier this year
Texan wide receiver Demaryius Thomas stands with his parents, Bobby Thomas, right, and Katina Smith, ahead of the team’s game against the Denver Broncos on November 4, 2018