Family says Demaryius Thomas possibly died of seizure while alone at home

The family of Demaryius Thomas believe the retired Denver Broncos star wide receiver might have died from a seizure while he was alone at home, a cousin told the Associated Press.

Thomas died Thursday at the age of 33, six months after he announced his retirement form the NFL. Police said they found him dead at his home in Roswell, Georgia.

“Preliminary information is that his death stems from a medical issue, and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise,” Officer Tim Lupo, pubic information officer for the Roswell police department, told reporters early Friday.

Thomas could have turned 34 on Christmas day.

Thomas family believes seizure led to death

Thomas' cousin, LaTonya Bonseigneur, told the AP the family believes the medical issue was a seizure and said he had been dealing with them for a while now.

“He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering,” Bonseigneur said, via the AP. “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.”

Officers responded to a 911 call regarding a cardiac arrest at Thomas' home around 7 p.m. on Thursday, per a police incident report USA Today Sports obtained. They were led to the bathroom by the person who made the call, likely the driver Bonseigneur referenced, and found Thomas' body in the shower, per USA Today Sports. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

The police department said the cause and manner of death are still pending. An autopsy by the Fulton County medical examiner's office will be done Friday.

Broncos, Tim Tebow honor Thomas

Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow
Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow won the 2012 ESPY for 'Best Moment' after their wildcard-winning connection in the NFL playoffs ealier that year. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Broncos, where Thomas played almost exclusively and had his most memorable moment in the league, released a statement confirming reports of Thomas' death and honored his character.

"We are devastated and completely heartbroken by the sudden, tragic passing of Demaryius Thomas," the statement began.

Six of the eight featured stories on the Broncos' webpage were in honor of Thomas as of late Friday.

He was the Broncos No. 22 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft out of Georgia Tech and became a four-time Pro Bowler. His most memorable moment was with quarterback Tim Tebow when he caught an 80-yard touchdown from him on the first play of overtime in the 2011 wildcard game.

Tebow spoke glowingly of his former teammate during an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" on Friday. He said he would remember the star's kindness and how he would make a room brighter simply by walking into it.

“He made the room better — not because of what he did on the football field, but because of his smile, his kindness, because of his joy for life, because his love for people," Tebow said. "I want us to remember him, but I want us to honor him, by when we have a chance to go live out our dreams and what we do to bring that same joy, love and kindness for people."

Thomas spent eight seasons in Denver before being traded midseason to the Houston Texans. He played with the New York Jets in 2019 and did not play in 2020. He announced his retirement on June 28 as a Bronco. He ranks second in the franchise's history with 9,055 receiving yards, trailing only the 11,389 set by Rod Smith.

Players around the NFL mourned the loss on social media late Thursday and throughout Friday.