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ALS claims ex-Viking Thomas

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Former Minnesota Vikings safety Orlando Thomas has died of complications from ALS. He was 42.

Thomas was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2004. He died on Sunday night in his hometown of Crowley, Louisiana.

Thomas was a hard-hitting starter for seven seasons, the last coming in 2001. He led the NFL in interceptions with nine as a rookie in 1995 and finished his career with 22.

“He represented the franchise and the state of Minnesota with the utmost dignity and class,” a Vikings’ statement read.

The team said he was a favorite among his teammates and his “involvement in the community made him a favorite outside of Winter Park.”

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