Former NFL Player, Notre Dame Star Dead At 35; Wife Issues Statement
In this photo provided by the NFL, Paul Duncan of the Denver Broncos poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Englewood, Colorado.
AP Photo/Eric Bakke via Getty Images

Former Notre Dame football star Paul Duncan died last week at age 35, the athlete’s wife announced.

Duncan played as an offensive lineman for the Fighting Irish from 2005-09, and then briefly for the NFL on the Denver Broncos, ND Insider reported. He went into cardiac arrest on July 15, Duncan’s wife revealed. The couple share two children.

“Yesterday, Friday July 15th, Paul went into cardiac arrest while on a run in our neighborhood,” Ellen Duncan shared via Instagram. “Today he was pronounced brain dead. We will have a medical examination to understand cause of death.”

“His body will be donated to people in need of organs and to medical research,” Ellen said. “Thank you for your prayers and support.”


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A post shared by Ellen Duncan (@pineapplellen)

Another former NFL player, wide receiver Charles Johnson, recently passed, too.

The former New England Patriot was found dead in his hotel room this week, reports said Wednesday. The athlete’s cause of death is currently unknown. He was 50 years old at the time of his passing.

Tragically, the NFL has lost a string of active and former players this year. It was revealed this month that former Dallas Cowboys player Marion Barber III died of an accidental heat stroke, the Collin County medical examiner’s office said.

Barber, 38, was found unresponsive in his Frisco, Texas, apartment on June 1, after police were called to make a welfare check.

Some had speculated that the NFL star suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE. The late player’s father, Marion Barber II, publicly said that his son did not want his brain donated for CTE research. Before his death, Barber was reportedly hospitalized for mental health concerns on two occasions.

In another tragedy, the Baltimore Ravens’ 26-year-old linebacker Jaylon Ferguson passed in June.

According to an autopsy report, Ferguson overdosed on cocaine and fentanyl.

Related: Sudden Death: The Surge Of NFL Tragedies, And What’s Behind It

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