By Danielle Chavira

DENVER (CBS4) – The Detroit Lions helped honor and remember former Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas at the start of Sunday’s game at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos set up a 10-man formation, symbolizing Thomas as the 11th man, and received a delay of game as a result.

DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 12: The Denver Broncos take the field with 10 players against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter to honor the late former Denver Broncos player Demaryius Thomas at Empower Field At Mile High on December 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos were penalized but the Lions declined the penalty. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions declined the penalty. The classy move received a standing ovation from fans in the crowd.

The show of sportsmanship followed other displays of respect, like players wearing “88” decals on their helmets, the number “88” spray painted on the Broncos sideline and a large memorial outside of the stadium where fans could pay their respects.

Peyton Manning and members of his family were seen at that memorial, honoring D.T. On the day of the news of Thomas’ death, Manning shared he just spoke with him earlier that same week about a play seven years ago.

“I texted with D.T. on Tuesday. He was talking about a TD audible we called vs. Arizona in 2014. Absolutely devastated,” Manning said.

Danielle Chavira