Ex-NFL, Georgia Tech star’s autopsy points to seizure disorder, reports say

Fulton medical examiner finds no direct link to CTE diagnosis in Demaryius Thomas’ death

Late NFL star and former Georgia Tech standout Demaryius Thomas died from “complications of a seizure disorder,” according to reports on the final autopsy results.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office conducted Thomas’ autopsy the day after he was found dead in his Roswell home Dec. 9. He was 33.

In the eight-page final report, the medical examiner indicated there was “no direct relationship” between the seizure disorder and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the degenerative brain disease that Thomas battled before his death.

Doctors at the Boston University CTE Center announced last month that Thomas was diagnosed with stage 2 CTE after studying his brain posthumously.

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A copy of the autopsy report was not immediately available when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached the Fulton medical examiner’s office Saturday.

According to ESPN, the report indicated Thomas was found dead in the shower of his Roswell home.

The report left several questions about Thomas’ death unanswered. The medical examiner listed the manner of death as undetermined, and said it was unclear if the seizure disorder resulted from natural causes or was the effect of head trauma that Thomas suffered during his playing days, ESPN and the Denver Post reported.

The family earlier told the media that he died from cardiac arrest caused by a seizure. They said Thomas had begun suffering seizures since a 2019 car accident.

Seizures are not considered a common symptom of CTE. The July news release about his CTE diagnosis indicated that symptoms of a stage 2 diagnosis include impulsivity, depression, executive dysfunction and memory loss.

Thomas, a Laurens County native, was an all-state wide receiver at West Laurens High in Dexter before going on to Georgia Tech, where he played four years and had 120 receptions for 2,339 yards with 15 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets.

In 2010, Thomas was one of Denver’s first-round draft picks. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl in 2016. He played nine seasons for the Broncos and set several records in Denver, including a franchise high for regular season receiving yards in 2014, when he notched 1,619 yards.

Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans in 2018 and also had short stints with the New England Patriots and New York Jets during his career. He retired from the NFL less than six months before his death. He would have turned 34 on Christmas Day.

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