There is some very sad and shocking news to report on this Thursday night.
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia home. Details are scarce but a police spokesman said that preliminary information suggests that Thomas’ death was due to a medical issue.
A standout at Georgia Tech, Thomas was chosen by Denver in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was named to five Pro Bowls (with at least 90 receptions in all of those seasons), two All-Pro Second-Teams, and won the Super Bowl in the 2015 season. Even with a very declined Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler at quarterback, Thomas still hauled in an incredible 105 passes for 1,304 yards and 6 touchdowns in Denver’s championship year.
Thomas had one of the most iconic plays in NFL postseason history in the 2011 Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the score tied 23-23, Tim Tebow threw a short pass to Thomas, who outraced the vaunted Pittsburgh defense for the winning touchdown on the very first play of overtime.
Tim Tebow found Demaryius Thomas in overtime -- and just like that, the game was over.— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) April 18, 2020
Watch the @Broncos classic playoff win over the Steelers tonight at 10 PM ET on @CBSSportsNet. pic.twitter.com/baYGvrRyZH
When Peyton Manning became Denver’s starting quarterback in 2012, Demaryius established himself as one of the top receivers in the game. It was Thomas who caught Peyton’s first touchdown pass as a Bronco against, you guessed it, the Steelers. Two years later, Manning became (at the time) the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes on a throw to Thomas in a win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Of course, Seattle Seahawks fans are very familiar with Thomas’ work and it’s not just when he encountered the Legion of Boom in the Super Bowl. Demaryius’ very first NFL touchdown came against Seattle, he caught Denver’s only touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII, the game-tying two-point conversion to send the 2014 rematch into overtime, and the game-winning touchdown in the 2018 season opener.
Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans in 2018, then spent one season with the New York Jets in 2019. After not playing in the 2020 season, Thomas signed a one-day contract with the Broncos this past June to formally announce his retirement after ten seasons in the league. He holds Denver’s franchise records for playoff receptions, single-season receiving yards, and trailed only the legendary Rod Smith for receiving yards and touchdowns.
Current and former Seahawks were among those who mourned the loss of Thomas on social media.
RIP DT 88— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 10, 2021
RIP DT— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) December 10, 2021
Demaryius Thomas was just 33 years old.