Former Denver Broncos star receiver, five-time Pro Bowler, and Super Bowl champion Demaryius Thomas has reportedly died at the age of 33.
Football was played on Thursday night, but in a flash, the game became absolutely meaningless.
As the Steelers-Vikings game continued to descend into strange chaos, news spread across Twitter that former Denver Broncos star receiver Demaryius Thomas had died at the age of 33.
Thomas was just two years removed from being on an NFL roster, having last played for the New York Jets. He officially retired this past June, announcing he was signing with the Broncos so that he could end his career with the team it started with. But Thomas will forever be remembered as a critical piece of the Denver Broncos Super Bowl-winning roster, and a favorite target of Peyton Manning during his time with the team.
Miles Garrett, a reporter in the Atlanta area, as well as KOARadio insider Benjamin Allbright, passed along word on Thursday that Thomas had unexpectedly died.
Adam Schefter confirmed the news as well:
What happened to Demaryius Thomas?
No immediate details were made available as to what the cause of death for Thomas was.
TMZ reported that according to law enforcement sources they reached out to, the death stems from a ‘medical issue’:
"Cops tell us preliminary reports suggest the death stemmed from a medical issue. They also tell us there are currently no indications that foul play was involved."
USA Today also reported that Thomas’ death was related to a medical issue:
Neither the Broncos or the NFL have officially commented on the news.
Thomas was a first-round pick for the Broncos back in 2010 after an incredible career at Georgia Tech. His greatness was evident before Manning came to Denver, as Thomas helped deliver one of the best moments in Broncos history when he walked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card with Tim Tebow as his quarterback.
When Manning was signed by the Broncos, Thomas’ career went to another level. As Manning’s favorite target, he helped break franchise and league records, as well as helping return a Super Bowl title to Denver. Not to mention racking up the type of statistics that sent him to five Pro Bowls.
Thomas’ story went beyond football, though. Back in 2015 his mother and grandmother were both pardoned and released from prison by President Obama. For the first time in either of their lives, Thomas played an NFL game in front of his mother during a Broncos playoff win over the Steelers in 2016.
After the Manning era ended in Denver, Thomas remained mostly productive, posting a 1,000-yard season with Trevor Semian as his quarterback. He was eventually traded to the Houston Texans in a heartbreaking move for fans ahead of the 2017 NFL trade deadline, before ending his career by bouncing from the Patriots to the Jets.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.