Former Notre Dame and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Ross Browner died Tuesday at the age of 67.
Bengals teammate Louis Breeden told the NFL team’s website that Browner passed away after a long battle with COVID-19.
Cincinnati drafted Browner with the No. 8 overall pick in 1978 and he played his first nine seasons there, tallying 10 fumble recoveries in 127 games (121 starts) from 1978-86. He ranks fifth in Bengals history in sacks with 59.
Browner set a then-Super Bowl record for tackles by a defensive lineman with 10 stops (including a sack) in Cincinnati’s 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
“Ross was a unique player in the sense you just didn’t see that kind of athleticism on the defensive line,” Breeden said. “He wasn’t the biggest guy weight-wise. But Ross was quick off the ball, extremely athletic and used his hands well.”
Browner played a final season with the Green Bay Packers in 1987 and had one sack in 11 games.
We mourn the loss of @NDFootball alumnus Ross Browner and the impact the College Football Hall of Famer and NFL alum left.
We lift our prayers for Ross’ family and all those who loved him.
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) January 5, 2022
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Browner won the Outland Trophy (1976), Maxwell Award (1977) and Lombardi Award (1977) at Notre Dame. The two-time All-American finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1977 and helped the Fighting Irish win national championships in 1973 and 1977.
Browner is survived by his wife Shayla and two sons.
–Field Level Media