Uchechukwu Nwaneri, a former offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars, died Friday at his wife's home in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was 38 years old.
Nwaneri's wife found him unresponsive in a bedroom around 1 a.m ET, according to West Lafayette police and Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello (via the Lafayette Journal & Courier). Preliminary results indicate a possible heart attack pending toxicology results. An autopsy performed Monday did not indicate any signs of foul play.
"Rest In Peace, Uche Nwaneri. [Nwaneri] played seven seasons with the Jaguars, 2007-2013, and forged a strong bond with the Jags fans that's remained to this day," Tony Khan, Jaguars chief football strategy officer and son of owner Shad Khan, tweeted Monday. "On behalf of the Jaguars organization and my family, our thoughts are with Uche's family [and] friends at this terrible time."
Nwaneri played college football at Purdue before Jacksonville selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He made one start as a rookie before cracking the starting lineup in 2008. Nwaneri remained in the Jaguars' starting lineup through the 2013 season.
Nwaneri logged 92 starts while playing in 104 career games, all with Jacksonville. His blocking helped teammate Maurice Jones-Drew amass three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 2009-11. Jones-Drew led the NFL with 1,606 rushing yards in 2011.