Englewood, Colorado. – Demarius Thomas, a former recipient of the Denver Broncos, died of “complications of seizure disorder,” according to an autopsy report from the Fulton County (Georgia) office of the medical examiner.
Portions of the report were shared with ESPN on Friday. Thomas was found dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia, on December 9 at the age of 33, and an autopsy was performed the following day.
Last December, the medical examiner’s office issued a statement that “the cause and mode of death are pending completion of laboratory studies and microscopic tissue samples.” In the final report, the medical examiner said that the manner of Thomas’ death was still undetermined and it was not known whether the seizure disorder was due to natural causes or due to effects on Thomas’ head during his NFL career.
Last month, researchers at Boston University told ABC News that Thomas suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease of the brain, but said that CTE did not cause his death. The autopsy report said those same researchers said they did not believe Thomas’s CTE caused the seizure disorder.
An autopsy report revealed that Thomas, who was found dead while taking a shower, had traces of nicotine and marijuana in his system, but neither was listed as a contributing factor to his death.
At the time of his death, some members of Thomas’ family said publicly that he had suffered from epileptic fits for about a year before his death. Several of his former classmates said at the time that Thomas told them he had had seizures in recent months.
Thomas’ distinctive smile and constant desire to help those in need made him one of the most popular franchises in the community. His death sent shock waves through the NFL and Denver.
Thomas, who would have turned 34 on Christmas, announced his retirement from the NFL in June 2021 with a short video in which he showed a sign of peace and a smile.
Thomas was the first-round pick for the Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft—Tim Tebow was another—and spent nine seasons with the team. He finished his career as the Broncos’ leading second receiver (9,055 yards), behind Rod Smith. He is third in franchise history at Catch (655) behind Smith and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharp.
Thomas played in 10 seasons overall with the Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Jets and finished with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.