Franklin's status for Sunday's game against San Diego is uncertain. Coach John Fox had already addressed the media when Franklin apparently learned of the situation after practice.
"Orlando was excused from afternoon meetings to deal with a family matter," team spokesman Patrick Smyth said Wednesday afternoon.
Franklin tweeted: "Thanks guys for all your prayers for my little brother. Its a shame that he had to die at 20. Thanks again twitter fam 1Love."
It's not known when Franklin will return to practice.
Franklin was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but moved in with his older brother in Toronto while in high school before going to Florida to gain recruiting attention. He starred at the University of Miami and was selected by the Broncos with the 46th overall draft pick in April.
He has started all four games for Denver.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.