ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos will honor former wide receiver Demaryius Thomas Sunday with a pre-game moment of silence as well as a tribute to be played on the stadium’s video boards.
The Broncos, who will face the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High, will also wear decals on their helmets of Thomas’ No. 88.
Thomas was found dead Thursday in his Roswell, Georgia home. Police indicated Thomas’ death might have resulted from a medical issue.
Former teammates said Thomas had told them he had suffered from seizures in recent months. LaTonya Bonseigneur, Thomas’ cousin, told the Associated Press early Friday Thomas had suffered seizures for a year and that family members had spoken to him Wednesday.
Thomas, who was to turn 34 on Christmas, had officially announced his retirement from the NFL this past June.
The Broncos held a team meeting Friday morning to talk about Thomas’ death. Team CEO Joe Ellis, who was the Broncos’ chief operating officer in 2010 when Thomas was a first-round pick, was among those who spoke to those in attendance as did running backs coach Curtis Modkins, who recruited Thomas as a Georgia Tech assistant and came to the Broncos in 2018 – Thomas was traded that season.
The Broncos have 10 players on their current roster who were Broncos teammates with Thomas and over 40 coaches, staff members and support personnel who were with the team during Thomas’ nine seasons.
“Seeing and feeling their reaction, their hurt, just tells me what a special player DT was,” said Broncos coach Vic Fangio. “Special player, special person, is obvious, by their responses. … The people that knew him and were around him, they’re sad and depressed, down, but … we’re ready to pay tribute to him on Sunday.”
Fangio said the players and other staff members who needed to talk about Thomas’ death would have counselors as well as a team chaplain available to them.
Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles, who was the Broncos’ first-round pick in 2017, said Friday he still has a message on his phone from Thomas to welcome Bolles to the Broncos just after Bolles was selected in that draft.
“We all love him. We all miss him,” Bolles said. “I know he touched my life. … He left a legacy.”