The Fulton County (Ga.) medical examiner’s office has determined former All-Pro receiver Demaryius Thomas died of “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to an autopsy obtained by 9News Denver.
Thomas, 33, was found dead in the shower in his Roswell, Ga. home on Dec. 9, two weeks before his 34th birthday. A day later, Thomas’s family issued a statement saying they believed he died after suffering a seizure while showering after revealing he had been dealing with recurring seizures since a car crash in 2019.
According to 9News, the Medical Examiner confirmed Thomas suffered from a seizure disorder, but could not determine if it’s “a result of natural causes or a sequela of head impacts” from his football career. The report, which was made public Friday, comes exactly one month after The New York Times reported Boston University researchers posthumously diagnosed the former Broncos great with Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
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Dr. Ann McKee, the neuropathologist who studied Thomas’s brain, said in July seizures are not generally associated with CTE. The autopsy results further supported this belief after the Fulton County medical examiner shared that a doctor at Boston University ruled “there is not a direct relationship between CTE and the development of a seizure disorder.”
In addition to noting the presence of the degenerative brain disease in its report, the medical examiner’s office discovered traces of nicotine and marijuana in Thomas’s system, which were ultimately ruled out as a possible cause of death. Tests also ruled out COVID-19, per 9News.
A former Georgia Tech star selected by the Broncos 22nd overall in 2010, Thomas spent eight seasons in Denver, reaching the Pro Bowl for three consecutive campaigns from 2012 to ’14 and winning a Super Bowl in ’15.
During his 10-season career with the Broncos, Texans, Patriots and Jets, Thomas caught 724 passes, tallying 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns. He officially retired in June 2021 after signing a one-day contract with the Broncos.