Bryan Robinson, who played on the defensive line for five NFL teams from 1997 to 2010, has died at age 41.
Robinson was pronounced dead after 10 p.m. on Saturday after being found in a Milwaukee hotel room, the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said in a statement. An autopsy done Monday found no trauma, and the cause of death is pending results of toxicology tests. Milwaukee police told the Chicago Tribune that there were no signs of anything suspicious, and they are investigating the situation as a sudden death.
There was no immediate word why Robinson, of Gurnee, Illinois, was at the Midpoint Motel in Milwaukee.
One of Robinson's most memorable moments came on Nov. 7, 1999, when the Bears played the Packers in their first game after Hall of Famer Walter Payton's death. Chicago had lost 10 straight games to Green Bay, but Robinson blocked a field goal attempt as time expired to give the Bears a 14-13 victory.
"I think Walter Payton actually picked me up a little bit and boosted me up in the air because I can't jump that high," Robinson said after the game, according to the Tribune. "Walter had a lot to do with it. I know he did."
The St. Louis Rams signed Robinson as an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 1997. He played one year for the Rams before signing with the Bears and anchoring the defensive line for several seasons. Then Bears coach Lovie Smith ultimately decided that Robinson didn't fit his scheme and let him go in a cost-saving move in 2004.
"He became one of my better friends on the team," former Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said, according to the Tribune. "B-Rob was very good at what he did and he never made mental mistakes. He always knew where to be and he knew where other guys were supposed to be and he didn't accept that when other guys screwed up. One time in preseason he went off on me for getting out of my gap and they ran through my gap. He didn't accept guys screwing up for mental reasons. Physically, guys are going to make mistakes. Mentally, he didn't accept that because he was so good at what he did without being wrong.
"He didn't fit Lovie's system. Lovie had a speed defense and B-Rob was good at what he did but he was kind of a clog up the middle guy. He made plays but he freed other guys up to make plays too and he was good at it. He was definitely one of the leaders of the team my first few years."
The Bears issued a statement on Robinson's death Monday, saying: "We are saddened to hear of the loss of Bryan Robinson. He will be remembered for the determination and work ethic he displayed on the field over his six years in Chicago. The Bears and our fans will always be indebted to him for his game-saving blocked field goal in Green Bay six days after Walter Payton's passing. Our prayers are with Bryan and his family."