Former Vikings Orlando Thomas dies of ALS

Former Vikings safety Orlando Thomas died Sunday night after a seven-year battle with ALS.

Former Viking safety Orlando Thomas died at age 42 on Sunday night after battling ALS for seven years.

“The Vikings are deeply saddened by the loss of Orlando Thomas. Orlando was an outstanding player for the Vikings for seven years, but more importantly he represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class,” the Vikings said in a statement issued Monday. “While his outgoing personality made him a favorite among his teammates, Orlando’s involvement in the community made him a favorite outside of Winter Park.”

Thomas played for the Vikings for seven years after being selected in the second round of the 1995 draft. He had a rookie franchise record nine interceptions, second all-time for any Viking, and finished his seven-year career with 22 interceptions.

“Since 2007, Orlando fought this disease with tenacity and optimism. Throughout his difficult battle, he refused to allow ALS to define him, instead putting others’ needs in front of his and focusing on making those around him smile,” the Vikings said.

“Orlando will always remain a member of the Minnesota Vikings family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Demetra and their family.”


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