Former Chicago Bears defensive end John Thierry has died unexpectedly at the age of 46, the team announced Saturday.
The Chicago Bears offer their deepest condolences on the passing of former linebacker John Thierry. Our thoughts and prayers go out to John and his family.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 25, 2017
While the team did not provide a cause of death, former Bears offensive lineman Marcus Spears wrote on Instagram that Thierry suffered a massive heart attack Friday night.
Thierry played the first five years of his nine-year career with the Bears after being drafted 11th overall in 1994 out of Alcorn State.
Thierry appeared in 73 games for the Bears and made 28 starts. He had 12½ sacks and one interception and is tied for the franchise record for fumble recoveries in one game with three in a 35-32 victory over the Oilers on Oct. 22, 1995.
Thierry’s best season came in 1999 when he had seven sacks during his one year with the Cleveland Browns when they converted him to linebacker after the Bears’ largely failed experiment of making him an undersized rush end didn’t work out.
The Cleveland Browns family is saddened by the loss of former Browns defensive end John Thierry. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Thierry family.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 26, 2017
Thierry signed with the Packers and had 10 sacks in 28 games for them in 2000 and 2001. He finished his career with the Falcons in 2002.