Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died in December due to “complications from a seizure disorder,” according to the autopsy released by the Fulton County Medical Examiner on Friday.
Thomas, who spent nine of his 10 NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, was found dead in a shower inside his Roswell, Ga., home on Dec. 9 of last year. He was 33.
Thomas’ parents had previously said his death was caused by a seizure disorder that led to cardiac arrest during a July interview with ABC’s Good Morning.
As had been previously reported, the autopsy produced by Dr. Karen E. Sullivan noted that Thomas had a history of seizure disorder, issues he had dealt with since being injured in a car crash in 2019.
In July, Boston University researchers announced, after examining Thomas’ brain, that the four-time Pro Bowler and 2015 Super Bowl champion had suffered from Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease often linked to repeated blows to the head.
The findings of the autopsy were shared with Boston University’s Dr. Chris Nowinski, who provided the opinion, according to the medical examiner’s report, that “there is not a direct relationship between chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the development of a seizure disorder.”
“It is unknown whether Mr. Thomas’s seizure disorder is a result of natural causes or a sequela of head impacts incurred during his career as a professional football player and the reviewed medical records do not indicate an etiology for Mr. Thomas’ seizures,” Sullivan concluded in the medical opinion portion of the report. “The manner of Mr. Thomas’ death is classified as undetermined.”
Thomas retired from the NFL before the start of the 2020 season, finishing with career totals of 724 catches, 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns. Most of that production came in Denver, where Thomas is second in most of the franchise’s statistical receiving categories behind Rod Smith.
(Photo: Ron Chenoy / USA Today)