Former New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was pronounced dead in his home on December 9, 2021.
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 that had only officially retired in June (2021) after a one-year hiatus during the pandemic.
He was 33 years old when he passed, and he is gone much too soon.
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Jets Organization Reacts to Thomas Tragedy
This morning on December 10, the Jets organization released a statement on Twitter to address the unexpected tragedy.
It read: “A brilliant career on the field with a light that always shone brighter off of it. Gone way too soon. But your impact remains. Rest In Peace, Demaryius.”
Later in the afternoon, owner Woody Johnson added: “Demaryius had a big impact on and off the field in his short time with our organization. He will be dearly missed by the entire NFL community.”
Over his lone season with the Green & White, Thomas totaled 433 receiving yards and one touchdown off 36 catches. He was voted as an additional captain by his teammates in November, despite only joining the franchise via trade in September.
Current head coach Robert Saleh called his passing an “absolute tragedy,” noting that he’s “sure there are a lot of hurt hearts in the football community.”
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Teammates, Staff & Friends Honor Thomas
One of the more heartwrenching reactions to the sudden passing was from former Denver Broncos teammate and Jets wide receiver Eric Decker. Although the two did not play together in New York, they became close friends with the Broncos.
Decker posted a beautiful message on his Instagram, along with photos of him and Thomas together on and off the field.
He wrote: “Demaryius, I love you! I can’t believe it, I don’t want to believe it. RIP 💔🙏🏽 We met in Arizona pre-NFL draft 2010. I was enamored by his presence. Not many 20-year-olds built like him. I was rehabbing from a major foot surgery and was struggling with it. Felt alone and weak. Demaryius unfortunately suffered a Jones fracture halfway through his training (not long after he arrived). He had surgery and found himself next to me rehabbing every day. We instantly bonded over it. Leaned on one another to stay the course – and the same with other shortcomings in our lives. He was the brother I always wanted. We stayed in AZ rehabbing up until the NFL draft after everyone left. The day came that we parted ways to experience draft week- wishing one another all the success in the world. God willing, we found ourselves as teammates shortly after. The following 4 years were some of the best in my life. He was my roommate, confidant, Batman to my robin, record-setting teammate. We shared many travels together, he was in my wedding, held my babies and was always in my corner. His smile was infectious- transformed a room when he arrived. His heart was gold! He brought joy all our lives. I am forever grateful to have Demaryius in my life. He is truly one of a kind and will forever be missed. 🙏🏽”
Two other members of both the Jets and Broncos sent their regards as well. Fellow-WR Brandon Marshall simply stated: “Love forever bro,” with a dove.
Quarterback Tim Tebow wrote: “Woke up and saw the really devastating news about my teammate and friend, Demaryius Thomas. So many are going to remember him for his athletic ability… but I’ll be remembering him for his kindness, his smile that would light up a room, and the love he had for those in his life.”
Several current Jets also paid tribute to Thomas. Safety Marcus Maye voiced: “I thank you for all our talks!! You touched so many people! You will be missed by us all.”
Wide receiver Braxton Berrios joined Maye, stating: “This one hurts. DT was one of the most genuine, kind-hearted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Taken way too soon..Rest easy DT.”
Rookie RB Michael Carter even added: “RIP Demaryius Thomas, I can’t believe it.”
Members of the media chimed in as well, including team reporter Eric Allen and ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The latter wrote: “Played only a year for the Jets (2019), but quickly established himself as a leader. Made an impact, especially on the young players. Kind, soft-spoken and thoughtful. This is just tragic. RIP.”
While the reactions will continue to pour in for some time, we’ll note one more here from Jets legendary cornerback Darrelle Revis. He voiced: “I am devastated right now. We spoke back in 2019 and you told me how excited you were to be a NY Jet. You gave my son a high five during pre-game. Appreciate you making his day. You were a great player. Prayers to you and your family. Rest Easy! Demaryius Thomas.”
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