Brown died from rare medical condition
Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown died of diabetic ketoacidosis, a rarely fatal medical condition that he was likely unaware of, the Baltimore Sun reported.
A funeral was scheduled for Brown on Friday, two weeks after he was found dead in his Baltimore home at the age of 40.
Maryland chief medical examiner David Fowler said there was no evidence Brown was ever diagnosed with diabetes.
If left untreated, the paper reported, diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to kidney failure, cause fluid to build up in the brain, force a coma, or cause the body to shut down completely, potentially in a matter of weeks. If caught early, the condition can be successfully treated.
Friends who saw Brown in the final weeks before his death said he did not mention feeling ill.
Former Ravens linebacker Brad Jackson told the Sun that Brown would definitely have acted on any doctor's advice.
"He would have taken care of himself to make sure he was around for his kids," he said.
Brown started his career with the Cleveland Browns in 1993 and remained with the organization through its move to Baltimore in 1996.
He suffered a freak injury in 1999 as a member of the Browns when a referee's flag hit him in the eye. Brown was so angry after the weighted penalty marker hit him that he shoved referee Jeff Triplette to the ground.
Brown filed a $200-million lawsuit against the NFL a year later, claiming the incident cut short his career.
The lawsuit was settled for $25 million and Brown returned to football in 2003, spending three more seasons with the Ravens.
The six-foot-seven, 360-pound Brown was nicknamed "Zeus" during his career. After his playing days he went into the restaurant business and had opened a Fatburger franchise in Maryland two years ago.