Former New England Patriots nose tackle Ron Brace has died at the age of 29 on Saturday.
Confirming the news, a spokesman for Springfield (Massachusetts) Police Department has ruled out signs of foul play. Masslive.com reports that police are still investigating the exact cause of death.
Ron Brace was picked up by Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He was subsequently released in 2012 due to injury but not before playing 39 games for the team. His NFL career finally came to an end in 2013 after a brief stint with Washington Redskins.
Following the news of his death, the Patriots released statement expressing grief over his sudden death.
“We were deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of Ron Brace’s death. Seven years ago tomorrow (4/25/09), we drafted Ron after his standout career at Boston College. During his Patriots career, the Springfield native was always eager to volunteer and give back in our communities, especially when those community initiatives were held in Western Mass,” the statement read.
“It is difficult to believe that someone so young and in the prime of his life is no longer with us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron’s family, friends and the many former teammates who will mourn Ron’s passing.”
Ron’s Atlanta Falcons team mate Matt Ryan took to Twitter to express his condolences.
“Saddened to hear about the passing of friend and former teammate Ron Brace. His smile was contagious. Thoughts and prayers to his family,” Ryan posted.
Al Washington, the running back coach for the Boston College Eagles also paid his tribute to Ron Brace.
“Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am at the loss of my teammate my friend and my brother Ron Brace. Just two weeks ago we connected when you expressed an interest in becoming a coach. It pains me to think about all the lives you would have impacted and changed for the better,” he tweeted.
“A wise person once told me that when God calls a person Home early it’s because he successfully completed his homework here on earth; he now can go Home and rest with the Lord. Ron, in a short span of time you have conquered more than most ever will in their entire life. You will live on through your family members and your BC brothers and sisters. Please believe that the ’16 BC DL will make you proud! May God bless your soul and the lives of your family. It’s is now time to Rest easy with the Lord Big Baby! Love you.”