Former Bengals pass rusher Ross Browner died from complications of COVID-19 after battling the virus for a month, the team website reports. Browner was 67.
The defensive end still ranks fifth on the Bengals’ all-time sacks list with 59. He had a game-high 10 tackles and the team’s only sack of Joe Montana, his college teammate, in Cincinnati’s 26-21 loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
Ross was the oldest of a football family. Six brothers became high school All-Americans and three of them followed Ross to the NFL. Jimmy played with Ross a year in Cincinnati. Joey and Keith also played in the NFL.
The Bengals made Ross Browner the eighth overall choice in 1978. He played nine seasons in Cincinnati before finishing his career in Green Bay.
He played 138 games, includng 123 starts.
Browner’s son, Max Starks, played 10 seasons at offensive tackle in the NFL and won two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers.
Browner was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
He pursued several business opportunities after the NFL, eventually working in real estate and settling in Nashville.
Ross is survived by his wife, Shayla, and two sons.