Broncos honor Demaryius Thomas before, during Sunday’s game

DENVER — The stands in Denver were filled with No. 88 jerseys to honor former Broncos star Demaryius Thomas on Sunday.

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The Broncos and their fans paid tribute to the late receiver during Denver’s game against Detroit. Thomas died Thursday night in his suburban Atlanta home at the age of 33.

Police told Channel 2 Action News he died of a medical condition. A family member told the Associated Press that she believed he died of a seizure, which he suffered from for years.

Thomas played for Georgia Tech in college and went on to play for the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

During Sunday’s game, the Broncos players wore an “88″ decal on the back of their helmets to honor Thomas. There also was an “88″ painted on Denver’s sideline. The team planned a video tribute and a moment of silence.

For the first play of the game, the Broncos symbolically lined up with only 10 players, one short of a full team, and did not snap the ball. Fans and players on both sides cheered, and the Lions declined the penalty.

Before the game, the Broncos posted a video from retired quarterback Peyton Manning, who called Thomas, “a special and unique guy, and obviously an incredible player.”

Outside the stadium, artist Armando Silva painted a mural of Thomas. Asked what he remembered most about the player known as “DT,” Silva said. “His smile. It’s all about his smile. Showing up, talking to kids, being available, being accessible. Just being a good person, being a good dude.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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