Former NFL wide receiver James Hardy has been identified as the body recovered in a Fort Wayne, Indiana river after he had been missing for a few days. The cause of death of Hardy, 31, has not been identified by the coroner’s office at this time.

According to a report from an NBC affiliate in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a water plant employee noticed a foul smell coming from a nearby dam and discovered the body trapped by the dam. Initial reports suggest the body had been in the water for “quite some time.” The family of Hardy had reported him missing a few weeks ago, with no explanation for why he may have gone missing.

Hardy played two seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 2008 and 2009. He appeared in 16 games and started three with 10 receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills issued a brief statement on Twitter following the news of the former player being discovered.

Police are currently investigating the situation to determine a cause of death and any other pertinent information that could help explain this story in better detail.

[Fort Wayne NBC]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.