Former Minnesota Vikings safety Orlando Thomas, who led the NFL in interceptions during his rookie season in 1995 with nine, died Sunday night of ALS. He was 42.
Thomas’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the news.
Thomas had been battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in Crowley, Louisiana.
“Nobody’s ever fought a battle like Orlando fought, with so much dignity — I never saw anything like it,” Bartelstein said Monday morning. “It’s just incredible. He never had a sense of self pity, never felt sorry for himself, he was always worried about everyone else. He was just the most incredible person I’ve ever been around.”
When Thomas played for the Vikings from 1995 through 2001, he weighed 225 pounds. When Thomas died, he was down almost 70 pounds, Bartelstein said.
Some of Thomas’ former Vikings teammates took to Twitter to remember him, including wide receivers Randy Moss and Jake Reed.
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