Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas tragically passed away last year on December 9th, 2021. Thomas was found dead at his home at the age of 33, weeks before his 34th birthday. At the time of his death, it was ruled that he passed away due to a medical condition with no foul play.
The news shocked the entire NFL community and many people were left heartbroken by it.
Recent news has surfaced that Demaryius suffered from Stage 2 CTE. It's a progressive brain condition that's widely thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and concussions.
The Super Bowl champion's life was also complicated by seizures from a car crash in 2019. Due to this, his death cannot be solely linked to CTE as he had other underlying conditions.
His mother, Katina, recently opened up to talk about her son and how he was acting differently once she learned more about CTE.
"Once I became aware of CTE and began to familiarize myself with the symptoms, I noticed that Demaryius was isolating himself and I saw other changes in him," Thomas' mother, Katina Smith, said in a statement."
"He was just so young, and it was horrible to see him struggle. His father and I hope all families learn the risks of playing football. We don’t want other parents to have to lose their children like we did."
Demaryius Thomas spent 10 seasons in the NFL
The 2009 first-team All-ACC wideout spent 10 seasons in the NFL. He was Denver's first-round pick in 2010, and they took him with the 20th-overall pick. DT played three seasons of college football at Georgia Tech. At Georgia Tech, they used a triple option offense during his tenure there. For Thomas to be taken in the first-round out of a program like that shows how good he was destined to be.
In his 10 seasons in the NFL, the majority of them were spent with the Denver Broncos. He played eight seasons with Denver, earning four Pro Bowl nods, a Super Bowl and two second-team All-Pro selections. Thomas also had brief stints with the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He caught 724 passes for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns for his entire career. He averaged 13.5 yards per catch as a pro.
From 2012-2016, Smith recorded five-straight 1,000-yard seasons and was also a member of the Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos team who defeated the Carolina Panthers.
If you use any quotes credit Katina Smith, USA today, H/T Sportskeeda