JACKSONVILLE, FL – Uchechukwu Nwaneri, a former offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars, passed away from a heart attack on Friday at the age of 38, according to a statement released by the team on Monday afternoon.
Nwaneri suffered a medical emergency at his wife’s home in West Lafayette, Indiana, collapsing in a bedroom where his wife found him unresponsive on the floor at approximately 1 a.m. Reports indicate that she immediately called authorities, but that by the time they arrived it was already too late; he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tony Khan, Jaguars executive and son of team owner Shad Kahn, issued a tweet on Monday, expressing his condolences on Nwaneri’s passing.
“Rest In Peace, Uche Nwaneri. @Chukwu77 played 7 seasons with the @Jaguars, 2007-2013, and forged a strong bond with the Jags fans that’s remained to this day,” Kahn said, “On behalf of the Jaguars organization and my family, our thoughts are with Uche’s family + friends at this terrible time.”
Officials say that preliminary autopsy results revealed that Nwaneri had suffered a potential heart attack; police have concluded an investigation into the incident and said that they found no signs that foul play was involved.
Nwaneri was picked by the Jaguars during the fifth round of the 2007 draft, at which time he had been fresh out of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; he remained as a starter throughout his entire NFL career with the Jaguars, and later signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, although he failed to make the team’s main roster and retired soon afterwards.
Nwaneri would later start up a YouTube channel – entitled “The Observant Lineman” – that garnered nearly 30,000 subscribers, where he reported on the NFL, with a focus on his former team, the Jaguars.