Denver Broncos Honor Demaryius Thomas, Line Up With 10 Players

In their first game since the sudden passing of beloved former wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the Denver Broncos honored the Super Bowl champion in a number of ways.

Outside of Empower Field at Mile High, fans gathered to pay their respects at a memorial for Thomas.

Wow on the Demaryius Thomas memorial in front of Mile High. @Broncos

— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) December 12, 2021

Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who played with Thomas and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos, arrived at the memorial with his family before kickoff against the Detroit Lions.

Peyton Manning and his family arrived in Denver to pay respect to Demaryius Thomas 🙏

(via @Broncos)

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 12, 2021

“Obviously an incredible player … but off the field, he was every bit as good a person as he was a player,” Manning said. “Very giving to all of his teammates’ charities. Great with all the players and families, coaches’ families, and kids. It’s been really tough. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be dearly missed.”

“He was a big reason why I came out here to play,” he continued. “I knew what he had done in just two years, but I also knew what he was capable of doing. That was a big part of the attractiveness of coming out to play for the Broncos. So for so many reasons, I’m very indebted and thankful to Demaryius.”

“He will be dearly missed. … He was a big reason why I came out here to play.”

Peyton Manning reflects on Demaryius Thomas:

— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 12, 2021

On the Broncos first possession of the game, Denver took the field with just 10 players, taking a delay-of-game penalty in honor of Thomas as fans cheered while the play clock ran down. The Lions declined the penalty.

The Broncos started the game with only 10 players on offense.

No. 88 was shown on the jumbotron in honor of Demaryius Thomas.

What a moment 🧡

(via @Broncos)

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 12, 2021

“There’s still 10 players on this team that played with him,” Denver head coach Vic Fangio said Friday. “A bunch of coaches that coached him, including [Running Backs Coach] Curtis Modkins, who recruited him to Georgia Tech and was one of his college coaches besides being on the staff here in 2018 with him. We have over 40 workers in the organization and the support staff that were around him. Just seeing and feeling their reaction and hurt just tells you what a special player D.T. was. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but [him being] a special player and a special person is obvious by their responses.”

On Thursday, Thomas was found dead at his home. He was 33.

Thomas’ cousin — LaTonya Bonseigneur — told the Associated Press that he had been suffering from seizures and the family believes these symptoms were the cause of his death.

“He had been suffering from seizures for over a year, and we believe he had a seizure when he was showering,” Bonseigneur said early Friday. “We’re not sure when he died. We just spoke with him yesterday.”

She added, “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.”

Thomas was drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and was selected to two All-Pro teams in his nine years in Denver. He retired in June, finishing his career with 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected]

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