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Peyton Manning meets with Demaryius Thomas' mother after Super Bowl walkthrough


The Broncos welcomed their families and closest friends to the final walkthrough of the year, setting foot on the turf at Levi's Stadium for the first time before Sunday. (photos by Eric Bakke unless otherwise noted)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. —** Just weeks after Demaryius Thomas' mother, Katina Smith, traveled to Denver to watch her son play in person for the first time in her life, she's made the trip to Santa Clara to watch him perform on the biggest stage.

To begin her weekend, she joined her son at Levi's Stadium following the team's final walkthrough on Saturday and she had a chance to share a moment with Peyton Manning, who had given her the game ball after Denver's 23-16 Divisional Round victory over the Steelers.


Pro Football Writers Association pool reporter Emily Kaplan caught some of the conversation.

"He loves playing with you," Smith reportedly told Manning.

Smith, who had been in prison for 15 years for a drug trafficking offense, had her sentence commuted in July but could not travel out of the state of Georgia until January. Thomas was 11 when Smith was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Scores of family members were welcomed at Levi's Stadium following the Broncos' walkthrough, allowing players and staff to have a lasting moment before Sunday's big game.

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