BOSTON — The Massachusetts medical examiner’s office ruled that former New England Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace likely died from an irregular heartbeat combined with a heart condition caused by high blood pressure.

The manner of death was ruled natural and is not considered suspicious.

Brace died at his family’s Springfield, Massachusetts, home in April. He was 29.

Brace grew up in Springfield and attended Burncoat High in Worcester, Massachusetts. After a standout career at Boston College, he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 draft and played 39 games in four seasons.

He is survived by his parents and six siblings.

THE NFL agreed to curtail its marketing of fantasy football to children ages 6 to 12.

Last season the league marketed fantasy football to youngsters on its NFL Rush Fantasy website and app, offering cash prizes and game consoles to contest winners. It also promoted an elementary school curriculum that encouraged children to play the fantasy game.

The NFL confirmed it has informed several advocacy groups that it will make significant changes to the game. The school curriculum based on the game has been discontinued and the league has promised it will not promote fantasy sports in schools in the future.

“We are pleased that the NFL has agreed to make these changes, and young children will no longer have a financial stake in the outcome of its games,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “It is also good news for parents that the league will no longer enlist teachers and schools in an effort to get children into the habit of playing fantasy sports.”

BROWNS: Running back Isaiah Crowell said he will donate about $35,000 to a fallen officers fund in Dallas as part of his apology for posting a drawing on Instagram last week showing a police officer getting his throat slashed.

Crowell, in a video posted on Facebook, apologized again for the post and said he would donate his first game check to a fund for the police officers slain and injured during a sniper attack last week. He didn’t say what the exact amount would be, but his yearly salary is $600,000 covering 17 weeks of the NFL season, including a bye.

“I know this might not change your mind about me and I know I can’t take the post back, but I’m sorry and moving forward I’m committed to being part of the solution,” the 23-year-old Crowell said in the video.

Crowell posted the drawing after black men in Louisiana and Minnesota were fatally shot by police. He deleted the post but a screenshot continued to be circulated on social media.

Starting defensive end Desmond Bryant will miss the season with a chest injury.

Cleveland’s leader in sacks last season, the 30-year-old Bryant underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle. The Browns said Bryant sustained the injury during a workout last week.

JOE BROWNE, who retired after 50 years in the league office, will receive the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Ralph Hay Pioneer Award during the induction ceremony Aug. 6.

The honor is presented periodically to an individual who has made significant and innovative contributions to professional football.