The Fulton County (Ga.) medical examiner’s office has determined that former All-Pro wide 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 at his home in Roswell, Ga. on December 9, two weeks before his 34th birthday. A day later, Thomas’ family released a statement saying they believed he died after having a seizure while showering, after revealing he had been suffering from recurring seizures following a 2019 car accident.
According to 9News, the medical examiner confirmed that Thomas suffered from a seizure disorder, but was unable to determine whether it was “a result of natural causes or secondary to head impacts” from his football career. The report, which was released on Friday, comes exactly one month later The New York Times reported that 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’ brain, said in July that seizures are not generally associated with CTE. Autopsy results further supported that belief after the Fulton County Coroner shared that a doctor at Boston University decided “There is no direct connection between CTE and the development of a seizure disorder.”
In addition to noting the presence of the degenerative brain disease in his report, the medical examiner’s office found traces of nicotine and marijuana in Thomas’ system, which were ultimately ruled out as a possible cause of death. Tests also ruled out COVID-19, according to 9News.
A former Georgia Tech star selected by the Broncos 22nd overall in 2010, Thomas spent eight seasons in Denver, making 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 for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns. He officially retired in June 2021 after signing a one-day contract with the Broncos.