Ronnie Hillman, former Denver Broncos running back who played on two Super Bowl-winning teams, recently lost his battle with cancer. He was only 31.
Prior to his passing, teammate Derek Wolfe informed the public that the running back was living with liver cancer, as well as pneumonia. In the days leading up to his death, he was moved to hospice care where he died, surrounded by loved ones.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother & father,” his family announced in a statement shared on Instagram. “Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends.”
“We as the family, appreciate the prayers and kind words that have already been expressed. We ask that you would give us time to process our feelings as we prepare to lay our precious RJ to rest,” the Hillman family continued. “More information will be forthcoming.”
A look back into Ronnie Hillman’s career with the Denver Broncos
Hillman began his professional football career in 2012 as a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos. At the age of 20, he was one of the youngest selected players in recent draft history, coming out of San Diego State with back-to-back 1,500-yard rushing seasons. To this day, he is on the school’s all-time rushing list.
In addition to his family, his former team issued a statement of grief in regard to Hillman’s death. “We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman,” the team began in a statement, according to ESPN.
“A key contributor to the winningest four-year period in franchise history, Ronnie was part of two Super Bowl teams and led the Broncos in rushing during our Super Bowl 50 championship season,” they continued, reflecting on his impressive career.
They added, “Soft-spoken with a warm smile and quiet intensity, Ronnie was drafted by the Broncos in 2012 and grew into a dynamic player and well-respected teammate.”
The Denver Broncos concluded their statement with the sentiments, “He will be fondly remembered by our organization, which extends its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the Hillman family during this difficult time.”
Although he is primarily remembered for his work with the Denver Broncos, the athlete also played five games with the Minnesota Vikings and three games for the Chargers in 2016. As a prominent force in the NFL, he will be dearly missed by all his family and friends.
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