Former NFL Player Dies at 35 After Suffering Cardiac Arrest ‘While on a Run’: Family

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A former Notre Dame Fighting Irish football star who also played in the NFL with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent died last week, according to his family. He was 35.

Paul Duncan’s wife, Ellen, confirmed in a July 16 statement on social media that her late husband’s heart suddenly stopped beating on July 15 “while on a run in our neighborhood.”

“Today he was pronounced brain dead,” Ellen said on Instagram. “We will have a medical examination to understand [the] cause of death.”

Ellen added that Duncan’s body will be “donated to people in need of organs and to medical research.”

Duncan played as an offensive lineman for the Fighting Irish from 2005 to 2009, ND Insider reported. He then briefly played with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent.

The intercollegiate football team representing the University of Notre Dame in Indiana also confirmed Duncan’s sudden death, offering condolences to the family and friends of the former Fighting Irish star.

“Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Paul Duncan,” the team said. “A great teammate, but more importantly a loving husband and father.”

Duncan is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The NFL has recently suffered a string of losses. Duncan is at least the fourth former NFL player who has recently passed away, others include Charles Johnson, Marion Barber, and Jimmy Williams.

Charles Johnson

Johnson was found dead in his North Carolina hotel room on July 20. The cause of his death was unknown as of Friday.

The 50-year-old former wide receiver played for the New England Patriots in 2001 when they won the Super Bowl. He also played nine NFL seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills.

After retiring from professional football, Johnson was employed as the Wakefield High assistant athletic director at Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

By Lorenz Duchamps

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