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Did CTE contribute to Demaryius Thomas’ death?

AS USA logo AS USA 7/5/2022 Paul Rudder
Did CTE contribute to Demaryius Thomas’ death? © Getty Images Did CTE contribute to Demaryius Thomas’ death?

The controversy surrounding the connection between the degenerative brain disease known as CTE and the NFL continues to grow. The sad story of a former Denver Bronco is the latest on the list.

Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas suffered from CTE before his death

According to reports on Tuesday from doctors of Boston University, the late Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was suffering from Stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The news comes just seven months after his untimely death. Both doctors and Thomas’ family were previously convinced that Thomas had died from a seizure which was the result of a 2019 car crash, however, what has now become clear is that the degenerative brain disease was responsible for his “increasingly erratic” behavior before he died.

As per reports, Thomas’ last year of life was indeed a sad one as the former Broncos player began to lose memory, while displaying signs of paranoia and increased isolation. It should be said that all three are typical indications of CTE. As such, it seemed to make sense when Boston University’s medical team initially agreed with previous consensus that Thomas likely died due to complications from his car crash. They noted that his seizures “attacked with little or no warning and led Thomas to wreck other cars and fall down steps.” Yet, it appears that the former first-round Draft pick caused concern among his family long before his seizures began in 2020. “He had two different conditions in parallel,” Dr. Ann McKee, a neurologist and leading authority on CTE said of Thomas.

What did Demaryius Thomas’ family say about his condition?

Speaking recently about her son’s tragic death and condition, Katina Smith, Thomas’ mother, revealed that after his retirement her son informed her that “his peripheral vision was diminished.” The former Broncos star’s father, Bobby Thomas also explained that his son’s paranoia “grew to the point that he never left home without a gun.” It is understood that approximately one year before his tragic death, Thomas’ cut short his plan to return to the NFL after becoming increasingly dependent on medical care. He was known to be taking anti-seizure medication as well as receiving ozone therapy and hyperbaric chamber treatment.

Who was Demaryius Thomas the player?

When he left the league, Thomas was easily one of the best wide receivers of his entire generation having totaled an eye catching 9,763 receiving yards in 11 seasons. A Georgia Tech product, Thomas was formed a prolific partnership with legendary QB Peyton Manning which culminated in Denver’s 2015 run to the Super Bowl. Thomas ultimately left the game of American football with over 12 records for receiving in the franchise’s books.


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