ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Former Denver Broncos wide recipient Demaryius Thomas died of “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to an autopsy report from the office of the Fulton County (Ga.) medical examiner.
Portions of the report were shared with ESPN on Friday. Thomas was found dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia on December 9, aged 33, and an autopsy was performed the following day.
In December, the coroner’s office released a statement that “cause of death and mode of death are pending completion of laboratory studies and microscopic tissue samples.” In the final report, the coroner said Thomas’s manner of death remains undetermined and it was unknown whether the seizure disorder was due to natural causes and from shocks to Thomas’s head during his NFL career.
Last month, Boston University researchers told ABC News that Thomas suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, but said CTE was not the cause of his death. The autopsy report said those same investigators said they did not believe Thomas’ CTE caused the seizure disorder.
The autopsy report found that Thomas, who was found dead in the shower, had traces of nicotine and marijuana in his system, but neither was listed as contributing to his death.
At the time of his death, some of Thomas’ relatives said publicly that he had had seizures for about a year before he died. Several former teammates also said at the time that Thomas had told them that he had been having seizures in recent months.
Thomas’ signature smile and ever-present desire for those in need made him one of the franchise’s most popular players in the community. His death sent shockwaves through the NFL and Denver.
Thomas, who would have turned 34 at Christmas, had announced his retirement from the NFL last June with a short video of him flashing a peace sign and a smile.
Thomas was the first of two first-round selections for the Broncos in the 2010 NFL draft — Tim Tebow was the other — and spent nine seasons with the team. He finished his career as the Broncos’ second most important receiver (9,055 yards), behind only Rod Smith. He is third in franchise history in catches (655) behind Smith and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
Thomas played a total of 10 seasons with the Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Jets, finishing with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.