GREEN BAY – Blair Kiel, the former Green Bay Packers backup quarterback and Notre Dame star, died Sunday. He was 50 years old.
An autopsy determined that Kiel died of natural causes, Bartholomew (Ind.) County coroner Allen Smith told The Associated Press, although Smith is also awaiting the results of tissue and toxicology tests.
Kiel, whose nephew Gunner is now a highly touted freshman quarterback at Notre Dame, was a four-year starter for the Irish from 1980 through ‘83 before playing parts of seven seasons with three NFL: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Indianapolis Colts and the Packers.
Kiel played in one game for the Packers in 1988 and started one game each in 1990 and 1991. He lost his lone 1990 start, to Detroit at Lambeau Field on Dec. 22, 1990, but led memorable rallies in both that game and in a Dec. 9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Milwaukee County Stadium. He threw a fourth-down incompletion with the team in scoring position in a 20-14 loss to the Seahawks, and threw an interception late in the 24-17 loss to the Lions.
Kiel also lost his other start with the Packers, 20-17 to the Dallas Cowboys at County Stadium on Oct. 6, 1991.
Kiel played in eight career games for the Packers, completing 80 of 135 passes for 865 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions.
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