After 15 years in prison, Demaryius Thomas' mom finally sees son play

Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Demaryius Thomas will be the first to admit he has a problem with holding on to the ball. Heck, he dropped a pass on the Broncos’ second play of Sunday’s game that might have given Denver a first down.

But when it came to his final reception of the day, Thomas made sure to grab it and hold on to it harder than any ball before. After all, he had a special receiver to give it to, himself.

Following the Broncos’ 23-16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s divisional round game, quarterback Peyton Manning handed Thomas the game ball and told him to give it to his mother.

That was a particularly special request for Thomas, as his mother had been in prison since 2000 and had never seen him play in person before Sunday. Jailed for drug trafficking, Katina Smith, 43, was one of 46 nonviolent drug offenders whose sentences were commuted by President Barack Obama in November. She was then prohibited to leave the state of Georgia for 60 days; Sunday’s game was the first one she had the opportunity to attend.

God is good.. Great news today, My Best lady come home November 10.. Godbless..

Posted by Demaryius Thomas on  Monday, July 13, 2015

"It's very special," Thomas told the media after the game Sunday, according to ESPN. "She came out, got to see us win a game, her first time here, her first time seeing me play. It felt great, a really special feeling."

But as the media’s questions kept coming, the receiver grew antsy for his first postgame hug with mom.

"My mom is right outside that door," he said. "Y'all are killing me."

Thomas caught just four of eight targets for 40 yards, but caught the 2-point conversion following Denver’s fourth-quarter, go-ahead touchdown that gave the Broncos the lead for good.

Download the new FOX Sports App to get the latest news and scores from your NFL team.