Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has died at age 33, a family member told Mike Klis of 9News in Denver on Thursday.
According to the Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala, police in Roswell, Georgia, confirmed Thomas was found dead at his home on Thursday evening and that "preliminary information" suggested "his death stemmed from a medical issue."
Thomas' first cousin LaTonya Bonseigneur told the Associated Press that the family believes he died after having a seizure in the shower.
“He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering,” Bonseigneur said early Friday. “We’re not sure when he died. We just spoke with him yesterday.”
“He was alone and a friend couldn’t get hold of him, so he called his driver, who has a key because of these seizures, and he went into his home and found him in the shower," Bonseigneur added.
Thomas was a member of four NFL teams but is best known for his time with the Denver Broncos. He was selected 22nd overall out of Georgia Tech in the 2010 NFL draft. In his sophomore season, he caught the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass from former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow in the team's AFC Wild Card Round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Thomas went on to earn selections to five straight Pro Bowls from 2012 to '16. He recorded 90 or more receptions and over 1,000 receiving yards in each of those seasons. He caught a career-high 14 touchdown passes in 2013 and the following year he notched career bests of 111 catches and 1,619 yards.
During that time, Thomas became a favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. The duo helped lead the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl 50, the team's first title since 1998.
Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans midway through the 2018 season. He was briefly signed to the New England Patriots before playing his final NFL season with the New York Jets in 2019.
Thomas officially announced his retirement from the NFL on June 28, 2021.
He finished his career with 724 receptions, 9,763 receiving yards and 63 touchdowns.
"Demaryius had an incredible NFL career and was such a big part of everything we accomplished during his many years as a Bronco. ... Demaryius’ remarkable consistency and production were instrumental in our offense setting historic records and our team winning a lot of games, including two AFC Championships and Super Bowl 50," Broncos president of football operations John Elway said at the time of his retirement.
Several Broncos players, including some of Thomas' former teammates, took to social media to express their grief after the news broke.
Thomas would've turned 34 years old on Christmas Day.