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Former Vikings Safety Orlando Thomas Passes Away

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One of the better safeties in team history died last night from ALS.

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 29: Orlando Thomas #42 of the Minnesota Vikings lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 29, 2000 in Tampa, Florida.
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 29: Orlando Thomas #42 of the Minnesota Vikings lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 29, 2000 in Tampa, Florida.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Former Vikings safety Orlando Thomas, or OT, as he was known as by many fans, passed away last night due to complications from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Thomas was 42, which was the jersey number he wore while roaming the defensive secondary from 1995-2001.

Thomas was a second round pick in 1995, and was in a draft class that included Korey Stringer, Corey Fuller, and Jason Fisk. He played all 16 games as a rookie, and took over the starting job about a month into the season, after he flashed a ball hawking ability that garnered him 9 interceptions in his rookie season, the most in the NFL.

He was a starter on both the 1998 and 2000 teams that went to the NFC Championship, and he ended his Vikings career with 22 interceptions, six forced fumbles, and 1.5 career sacks. His 22 interceptions are tied for seventh all time in team history with John Turner, and he ranks third all time in team history for interceptions by a safety, trailing only Hall of Famer Paul Krause and Ring of Honor member Joey Browner.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Thomas family.