The cause of death was a fatal seizure, although the origins of that seizure have yet to be determined. The four-time Pro Bowler was a 10-year NFL veteran and a Super Bowl champion. He was also a major challenge for the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs for eight and a half of those seasons.
Thomas had only officially retired in June (2021) after a one-year hiatus during the pandemic. He passed away at the tragically young age of 33.
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Andy Reid Pays His Respects
Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest tweeted: “Demaryius Thomas had 1,085 yards receiving against the Chiefs, the most of his career against another NFL team. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid got to know him as a competitor, and also coached him in the Pro Bowl.”
Coach Reid was asked about his passing during his December 10 press conference.
He responded: “Great person. He did a ton for people in the Denver community and elsewhere. Very smart and just a good person. That’s what I remember from him. Then, a heck of a football player. But our hearts go out to his family—the whole NFL family, you guys included in this. We’re all feeling for his family right now.”
It speaks volumes that Reid, like many others, praised Thomas the person before they even thought about bringing up Thomas the football star. Peyton Manning said it best, “D.T. was a better person than he was a player, and he was a Hall of Fame player.”
Many members of the Chiefs family acknowledged that and sent their love and prayers in his honor.
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Real Recognize Real
Players past and present tributed Thomas on social media. Linebacker Derrick Johnson wrote: “Life is really too short, DT will be truly missed. DT always had the biggest smile in the room at the Pro Bowls. RIP”
Cornerback Brandon Flowers also sent his regards, voicing: “The NFL is a big fraternity. We really feel it when one of us leave here [too] soon. We are leaving this earth younger and younger every day. Enjoy every day, only surround yourself with people that [genuinely] love you. Love on the people you love and stay out the way. R.I.P DT”
Current Chiefs players also chimed in. Wide receiver Josh Gordon noted: “I was blessed to play with you and even more getting to know you. Going to miss your presence big bro. Rest up.”
Defensive tackle Khalen Saunders’ shock spoke for many, tweeting: “Damnnnn Demaryius Thomas.. RIP”
Wide receiver Daurice Fountain had a similar sentiment, stating: “Aww man not Demaryius Thomas…[sad emojis]”
Finally, last but certainly not least was safety Tyrann Mathieu, who was a teammate of Thomas’ briefly in Houston. The Chiefs team leader kept his message simple yet powerful: “DT we will miss you brother!!”
One thing is abundantly clear, the Hall of Fame human being will be mourned by many. Gone but not forgotten, rest in peace Demaryius.