Demaryius Thomas died of seizure disorder complications, autopsy report reveals

·2 min read

Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died of complications related to a seizure disorder, according to an autopsy report obtained by 9News' Mike Klis.

The exact manner of death reportedly remains undetermined by the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, which performed the autopsy the day after the 33-year-old Thomas was found dead in the shower last December.

The medical examiner also found traces of nicotine and marijuana in Thomas' system, but no signs of any other drugs, per Kevin Vaughan of the same outlet.

While Thomas has since been posthumously diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE, it is unknown if the after-effects of a 10-year NFL career contributed to his death. A Boston University doctor reportedly told Vaughn there is not a direct relationship between CTE and seizure disorder.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is pictured during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
The death of Demaryius Thomas shocked the NFL world. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Thomas died less than a year after he announced his retirement from the NFL, where he played mostly for the Broncos plus stints with the Houston Texans, New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Demaryius Thomas dealt with seizures after car crash

Across nine seasons with the Broncos, Thomas posted 665 receptions, 9,055 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns. The latter two marks rank behind only Rod Smith on the franchise's all-time leaderboard. Those efforts came with four Pro Bowl nods, a Super Bowl 50 championship and one of the most iconic plays in Broncos history.

While Thomas' career was filled with highlights, health issues became a problem toward the end. While he received many blows to the head during his career, his mother told The New York Times a specific hit during Super Bowl 50 left him with headaches and unable to attend a victory celebration for long.

Thomas' problems with seizures reportedly began after a car crash in 2019. Thomas reportedly rolled his car several times and hit his head on the windshield after driving 70 mph in a 30 mph zone. A head injury left him with seizures starting in the fall of 2020, effectively ending his NFL career. As seizure medication and treatments failed to work, Thomas began to isolate himself.

Less than three years after the crash, those seizures reportedly had a role in his death.

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