Former Notre Dame and NFL Player Paul Duncan Dead at 35 After Going into Cardiac Arrest During Run

·2 min read
Denver Broncos rookie offensive lineman Paul Duncan from Notre Dame sports his new haircut during NFL football training camp at Broncos headquarters in Englewood, Colo., Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. Rookies received new haircuts from veterans Saturday. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos rookie offensive lineman Paul Duncan from Notre Dame sports his new haircut during NFL football training camp at Broncos headquarters in Englewood, Colo., Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. Rookies received new haircuts from veterans Saturday. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Former NFL player Paul Duncan has passed away. He was 35 years old.

Duncan, who joined the Denver Broncos as a free agent, was out running on July 16 when he went into cardiac arrest his wife Ellen Duncan posted on Instagram.

"Paul went into cardiac arrest while on a run in our neighborhood," she wrote. "Today he was pronounced brain dead. We will have a medical examination to understand cause of death."

The medical examiner's office in DeKalb County, Georgia said that Duncan's death is now under investigation, E! News reported on Saturday.

Paul Duncan Death. https://www.instagram.com/p/CgILUIfJSp4/. Ellen Duncan/Instagram
Paul Duncan Death. https://www.instagram.com/p/CgILUIfJSp4/. Ellen Duncan/Instagram

Ellen Duncan/Instagram

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"His body will be donated to people in need of organs and to medical research," the note from his wife continued. She thanked everyone for their prayers and support, and said she would post more updates about funeral services later.

Ellen and Paul share two daughters, Dillon, 6, and Sloane, 4. Paul's obituary in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said he was a proud of being a father to daughters.

"He embraced the role of 'girl dad,' from building playgrounds in the backyard to doing hair before school," the tribute said. "Dillon and Sloane loved Paul's impromptu dance parties in the kitchen and his adventures with them in the water, whether it was at the lake with family or at the pool with friends."

Denver Broncos rookie lineman Paul Duncan carries teammates' pads off the field following NFL football training camp in Englewood, Colo., Monday, Aug. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos rookie lineman Paul Duncan carries teammates' pads off the field following NFL football training camp in Englewood, Colo., Monday, Aug. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

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In another post on July 20, Ellen shared her daughters' reaction to the news that their father had died.

"When I first told the girls about Paul, Dillon asked to listen to the song "Dad just added to the morning playlist,'" the caption said.

"I didn't know what she meant so I looked on our Amazon music app and she pointed to 'I can only imagine' by @themercyme," Ellen wrote. "Paul definitely danced meeting Jesus."

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Paul was an offensive lineman for Notre Dame during college, from 2005 to 2009. The team posted a tribute on Twitter.

"Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Paul Duncan. A great teammate, but more importantly a loving husband and father."

The obituary for Paul called him "a devoted man of faith and family" and "a strong and joyful presence in every life he touched."