San Francisco 49ers cut Lawrence Okoye from 2015 roster
Last Updated: 02/09/15 11:43am
Lawrence Okoye's hopes of playing in the NFL have suffered a blow after he was cut from the San Francisco 49ers' roster.
The British discus record holder swapped athletics for American Football after the London 2012 Olympics and has spent the last two seasons on the west coast of America with the five-time Super Bowl champions.
He spent one season on injured reserve before making the practice squad last year and the 23-year-old had hoped to make his mark this year, particularly with his former defensive-line coach Jim Tomsula now in charge of the team.
But he was one of nine other players cut by the Niners in the penultimate round of cuts before NFL franchises finalise their 53-man rosters for the 2015 season.
Okoye could now be picked by one of the other 31 clubs or, if he goes unclaimed, he may return to the 49ers' practice squad once more.
Tomsula said he waived the Londoner prior to the final round of cuts in the hope it might help him land an opportunity elsewhere.
"Lawrence hasn't played a lot of football," he told a press conference.
"When you have a guy in that situation, it gives him a better opportunity [to find a team]. I will say what he's done in two-and-a-half years is remarkable."
Another NFL-convert did survive the cut in San Francisco, though, as the Niners elected to keep hold of former rugby league star Jarryd Hayne.
The ex-Australia international announced his intention to try his hand at American football back in October and has dazzled in the pre-season campaign with a series of runs as either a returner or running back.
Watch the NFL on Sky Sports this season - the first regular season game between Pittsburgh and New England is live on Sky Sports 1 from midnight on Thursday September 10. You can see the San Francisco 49ers in action against Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday September 15 (3.15am).