Former Jaguars OL Uche Nwaneri Dies at Age 38

Adam WellsJanuary 2, 2023

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Offensive guard Uche Nwaneri #77 of the Jacksonville Jaguars blocks against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri died Friday at the age of 38.

Per TMZ Sports, the Tippecanoe County (Indiana) Office of the Coroner said a preliminary report indicates Nwaneri died because of an "enlarged heart with acute heart failure."

Tony Khan, the Jaguars' chief football strategy officer, issued a statement about Nwaneri on behalf of the organization:

Tony Khan @TonyKhan

Rest In Peace, Uche Nwaneri. <a href="https://twitter.com/Chukwu77?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chukwu77</a> played 7 seasons with the <a href="https://twitter.com/Jaguars?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Jaguars</a>, 2007-2013, and forged a strong bond with the Jags fans that's remained to this day.<br>On behalf of the Jaguars organization and my family, our thoughts are with Uche's family + friends at this terrible time.

TMZ noted police were called to Nwaneri's wife's home in West Lafayette, Indiana, around 1 a.m. local time on Friday after he collapsed in a bedroom. He was found unresponsive when authorities arrived. They said there are no signs of trauma or foul play.

An official cause of death won't be determined until a toxicology report comes out.

The Jaguars selected Nwaneri in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL draft. He played college football at Purdue.

After being used sparingly as a backup during his rookie season, Nwaneri became Jacksonville's starting left guard in 2008. He moved to the right side in 2009 and remained there for the rest of his career.

Nwaneri appeared in a total of 104 games (92 starts) with Jacksonville from 2007-13. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 2014 but was released at the end of preseason.

Since his NFL career ended, Nwaneri has been host of the Observant Lineman show on YouTube. His most recent post was a Dec. 15 video breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line.