The Passing of Demaryius Thomas


Cooper Ams, Print Editor

This past week, the sports world was saddened by the news of Demaryius Thomas, who suddenly passed away on Thursday evening in his home in Georgia. For many, Demaryius Thomas was a household name during his career with the Broncos, especially during their Super Bowl season. As an avid NFL fan, I remember growing up watching Demaryius and am, along with many others, devastated by this terrible news. 

During his playing career, Thomas was always a threat on the football field. He started his career playing football at West Laurens High School in Dexter, Georgia. Thomas’ ability on the field caused him to be highly recruited. He decided to continue his playing career at Georgia Tech, where he was a wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets for all four years. Demaryius’ star senior season at a school that focused their offense around running the triple option caused many to project him as a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Thomas was drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft with the twenty-second overall pick by the Denver Broncos. His first two seasons in Denver were injury filled, as Thomas tore his achilles at the beginning of his second season. His career, however, took a turn for the better when Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos in 2012. After getting a consistent and future hall of fame quarterback in Manning, Thomas began to show why he was drafted 22nd overall just two years prior. Demaryius led the Broncos in receiving yards, receptions, and targets and was selected to his first of four Pro Bowls. Demaryius picked up where he left off in 2013, continuing to put up impressive stats and getting selected to yet another Pro Bowl. Demaryius continued to live up to the hype for the next couple of seasons, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl in the next two seasons as well. In 2015, however, Thomas had a season like he had never had before. The Broncos, led by Thomas, Manning, and Von Miller, went 12-4 through the regular season, earning the #1 Seed in the AFC for the NFL playoffs. The Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round by a score of 23-16 and moved on to face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, where Denver beat New England by a score of 20-18. The Broncos moved on to face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl V. The Broncos handled business and beat the Panthers by a score of 24-10, earning Thomas his first and only Super Bowl Ring. After winning the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning decided to retire, causing Thomas to lose his quarterback counterpart. From 2016, the quarterback problems for the Broncos led to Thomas not being able to produce as much as he had before. Thomas left the Broncos in 2018 and was traded to the Houston Texans, where he only played a couple of games before he was released at the end of the season. After being released by the Texans, the New England Patriots signed Thomas and was later traded to the New York Jets before retiring in June, 2021. 

After his retirement, Thomas returned to his home state of Georgia. Sadly, only a year after his retirement, Thomas was found dead in his home. Police attributed his death to previous medical issues and conditions, as he was in a car crash in 2019. His cousin, LaTonya Bonseignuer, believes that he passed away due to a seizure, as Demaryius had been suffering from seizures for over a year. While it is not certain whether or not CTE could have played a role in the seizures, there is a possibility.No matter what happened, it will not change the fact that Demaryius inspired and left a long lasting impact on many people during his life. The NFL honored the life and legacy of Demaryius this past Sunday, as multiple players and teams mourned the passing of one the top wide receivers in the past decade. Demaryius will forever be remembered for his great attitude on the field as well as his multiple contributions to the community off of the field.