Former New England Patriots nose tackle Ron Brace dies aged 29

The former New England Patriots nose tackle Ron Brace has died at the age of 29, police have confirmed. A spokesman for the Springfield Massachusetts Police Department said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Brace was a second-round draft pick for the Patriots in 2009 and played 39 games for New England until he was released towards the end of the 2012 season. His injury-plagued career ended in 2013 after a brief spell with Washington.

“We were deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of Ron Brace’s death,” the Patriots said in a statement. “Seven years ago tomorrow, 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.

“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 team-mates who will mourn Ron’s passing.”

Brace was a team-mate of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan at Boston College and Ryan paid tribute on Sunday.

Devin McCourty, his former Patriots team-mate also expressed his sadness, saying he would remember Brace “smiling and telling jokes”.

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