The NFL world was shocked last December when former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas unexpectedly passed away at only 33 years of age.

Details regarding the death have been scarce to come by, with his family citing seizures as a potential cause of death at the time. We now have more details into exactly what Thomas was going through and what could have played a role in his unfortunate passing.

It was reported Tuesday, after a posthumous study of Thomas by Boston University, that Thomas was dealing with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head that Thomas likely suffered in his football career.

He was diagnosed in the research study have stage 2 CTE, which is commonly associated with changes in behavior and mood, which Thomas’s family cited as a frightening reality for the former NFL star late in his life.

“His mood would change, and he would also isolate himself sometimes,” said Katina Stuckey Smith, Thomas’s mother in an interview with ABC News. “He was, like, ‘Mom, I don’t know what’s going on with my body. You know, I gotta get myself together,’ and he said, ‘I don’t feel like myself anymore.'”

This is a very frightening reality for people who play football at any level, and many are saddened to hear about the poor physical and mental state that he was in leading up to his passing.

Many former NFL players have been found to have CTE as a result of their playing career, and the family of Demaryius Thomas is hoping that his story warns others of the potential risk factors involved with the degenerative brain disease.

Football is a rough game, and while players will ultimately continue to play the sport they love, there are clearly some very real side effects that come to many within the sport.

[ESPN, Good Morning America]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.