Patriots

Patriots players react to former teammate Demaryius Thomas’ death

Several current and former Patriots, including Tom Brady, took to Twitter to grieve for Thomas, who played with the Patriots during training camp in 2019.

Patriots Demaryius Thomas Jakobi Meyers
New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) celebrates a touchdown catch with Jakobi Meyers, left, in a 2019 preseason game against the New York Giants. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Demaryius Thomas wasn’t with the Patriots very long, signing with the team in the 2019 offseason but never playing a regular-season down for the team.

But he left a lasting impression on his teammates from his brief time in Foxborough — one they’re all reflecting on Friday with the news of his passing.

Multiple Patriots took to Twitter to grieve after Thomas, 33, was found dead in his Georgia home on Thursday night due to an apparent medical issue. Family members have speculated the former Denver Broncos star may have died from a seizure, which he apparently has suffered from for the past year.

“This one hurts! DT you were big bro instantly!! Rest easy 88!!” said outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who also tweeted out a picture of him and Thomas together on the field before a game. Van Noy re-signed with the Patriots this year after last playing for them in 2019.

Thomas’s sterling reputation as both a player and person have been echoed throughout the league by former teammates such as Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, and DeMarcus Ware, as well as his old coaches and alma mater, Georgia Tech.

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“Rest in heaven man…spent a few weeks together and DT was flat out a GREAT dude…impacted so many lives #RIP,” wrote Devin McCourty.

Jakobi Meyers, who spent his rookie season in the Patriots’ receiver room with Thomas during the offseason, and veteran running back Brandon Bolden chimed in, calling Thomas “a real one” on and off the field.

Thomas was also fondly remembered by Tom Brady, who posted a photo of the two together at the Hall of Fame this August.

“I’m so sad to wake up this morning to hear about the passing of my friend Demariyus Thomas. We were all blessed with his humility and positive spirit, and we will all miss him,” Brady tweeted.

Fellow Patriots receiver Julian Edelman also chimed in, calling the news “devastating.”

“I only played with DT for a couple weeks, but he immediately made an impression. Will be missed by many,” he said.

Thomas passed away just weeks before his 34th birthday, which would’ve been on Christmas Day.

The former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos battled injuries in his first two seasons before bursting onto the scene 1,434 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in 2012. From there, he’d top 1,000 yards in five straight seasons, making four Pro Bowls and winning a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015.

He was traded to the Houston Texans in the 2018 season and then signed with the Patriots as a free agent ahead of the 2019 campaign. Thomas was released as part of final roster cuts after training camp, re-signed to a one-year deal and then traded to the New York Jets before he played a regular-season game with New England.

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The 10-year veteran didn’t play in the NFL after 2019 and announced his retirement this year in June.

But more than his on-the-field exploits, Thomas will be remembered for his resilience, overcoming long odds and personal struggles to make it to the NFL, and the esteem in which his old teammates, both on the Patriots and elsewhere, hold him.

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