04/09/2012 08:16 am ET

Blair Kiel Dead: Former Notre Dame, NFL Quarterback Passes Away

By Dave Miller, National Football Post

Blair Kiel, a former Notre Dame quarterback and uncle to current Fighting Irish signal-caller Gunner Kiel, passed away Sunday at the age of 50.

A freshman starter in 1980 for the Irish who would spend parts of seven seasons in the NFL, Kiel died of natural causes, according to an autopsy. Officials are awaiting toxicology tests, which will take four to six weeks to complete.

The Columbus, Ind., native played in South Bend from 1980-83 and threw for 3,650 yards and 17 touchdowns against 32 interceptions in his career. He ranked 10th in career passing yards and eighth in career completions among Notre Dame quarterbacks entering the 2011 campaign.

During his NFL career he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers.

The National Football Post sends its condolences to the Kiel family.

Email or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave