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Former Bengals DL Ross Browner passes away at 67

Browner remains one of the Bengals’ all-time leading sack artists despite retiring over 30 years ago.

Bengals Ross Browner Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

One of the Cincinnati Bengals’ best players from their 1981 Super Bowl run has passed away.

Former defensive lineman and Ohio native Ross Browner died Tuesday night at the age of 67.

Louis Breedon, Ross’ teammate in Cincinnati of nine years, told Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson that Browner died of “complications from COVID-19” after spending a month fighting the virus.

Browner was the Bengals’ first-round pick in the 1978 NFL Draft. In his nine years in Cincinnati, he racked up 61.5 sacks as the team’s right defensive end. His best season was none other than 1981, the year the Bengals made their first Super Bowl appearance. Browner had a career-high 10 sacks in 16 games, his third year as a full-time starter.

By the time Browner left Cincinnati after the 1986 season, he was second in franchise history in sacks. Browner joined the Green Bay Packers for one year in 1987 and played 11 games under Forrest Gregg, who was Browner’s coach in Cincinnati from 1980-1983.

The franchise recognized Browner as a member of the Bengals First 50, a list of their top 50 players from their first 50 years of existence. Browner was an impactful player for many years in their most successful decade, and he will be missed.