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Orlando Thomas report was wrong

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

A word of explanation on our earlier post on former Minnesota safety Orlando Thomas, who is continuing his five-year fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Vikings announced Thomas’ death on their Web site at about 5:30 p.m. ET. I passed along that news shortly thereafter. The report was erroneous. As you can see in this Associated Press story, Thomas’ agent spoke to his family Wednesday evening and learned he did not pass away.

I apologize for passing along the original information. Late Wednesday night, the Vikings released a statement on the mistake. I’ve pasted it below.

“Late this afternoon, vikings.com reported information that was erroneously given to the organization by an individual at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Orlando Thomas' alma mater) stating that former Vikings player Orlando Thomas had passed away from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“The Vikings have now learned that Orlando, who does have ALS, has not passed away. We are thankful that this report was inaccurate and he and his family continue to be in our thoughts.

“We regret the inaccurate report and send our sincere apologies to Orlando and his family.”