Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died from “complications of a seizure disorder” last December, according to an autopsy report from the Fulton County (Ga.) Medical Examiner’s office shared with ESPN on Friday (August 5).
Thomas, 33, was found dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia, on December 9, 2021 and an autopsy was performed the next day, but the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office had issued a statement shortly after claiming “the cause and manner of death are pending the completion of laboratory studies and microscopic tissue samples.”
In July, researchers at Boston University told ABC News that the former wide receiver had experienced chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has long been linked to football-related head injuries, but noted that the CTE was not ruled as Thomas’ cause of death.
The autopsy report also confirmed that Thomas’ seizure disorder was not believed to be caused by his CTE.
FOX 5 Atlanta producer Miles Garrett initially reported that he received confirmation about Thomas’ death from Jeff Clayton, the former wide receiver’s position coach at West Laurens High School, via email on December 9 after several former teammates paid tribute to Thomas.
“I just emailed Demaryius Thomas position coach while he was at West Laurens High School – Jeff Clayton,” Garrett tweeted. “He tells me that the rumors are true. The former Georgia Tech and Broncos receiver has passed away at the age of 33.”
Thomas was selected by the Broncos at No. 22 overall in the first-round of the 2010 NFL Draft after a decorated collegiate career at Georgia Tech, which included earning first-team All-ACC honors in 2009.
The Montrose, Georgia native emerged as the Broncos’ primary wide receiver and recorded more than 1,000 yards and 90 receptions during five consecutive seasons (2012-16), earning a Pro Bowl nod during each season, including the 2016 season, which resulted in Denver’s third Super Bowl in franchise history.
Thomas owns several Broncos franchise records including receiving yards for a single season (1,619 in 2014), career playoff receptions (53) and receptions in a playoff season (28 in 2013), among others.
Thomas also had stints with the Houston Texans (2018), New England Patriots (2019) and New York Jets (2019), before officially announcing his retirement as a Bronco in June 2021.