Kiwi NFL hopeful Paul Lasike is one step closer to a spot on the Chicago Bears final 53-man NFL roster after the only other fullback on the books was released today.
Veteran fullback Darrell Young, who had been signed a few weeks ago and was given slightly more opportunities in the pre-season than Lasike, was released leaving the former Brigham Young University standout as the only fullback left on the roster.
The Bears have been experimenting with taking a specialist fullback as part of the roster and a number of beat writers expected either Young or Lasike to make the final cut.
Lasike spent last year's pre-season with the Arizona Cardinals before being released at the final roster cut. The Bears then offered him a place on their practice squad and he has spent the past 12 months in the organization.
"I'm definitely in a similar situation to last year but maybe in a little bit better position because I've had a year under my belt," Lasike tells herald.co.nz.
"I've been doing well and trying to make the most of my opportunities on offense."
Lasike admits he isn't sure whether a fullback will make the final cut but says he is optimistic that they do want to go down that path.
"I want to say yes because we have been running it and he has installed it this year as opposed to last year where we didn't have that package at all.
"It is what we can make of it as fullbacks. How well we do and how well we can execute and whether it is going to be an effective package.
"It is there for the taking."
The Bears have also waived running back and special teams player Senorise Perry and parted with eight other players.
Perry led the Bears with 17 special-teams tackles in 2014 after signing as an undrafted free agent. He missed last season because of a foot injury.
The Bears waived defensive lineman Keith Browner, receiver Kieran Duncan, receiver Derek Keaton, offensive lineman John Kling, receiver Darrin Peterson, defensive back Joel Ross, tight end Gannon Sinclair and offensive lineman Martin Wallace on Monday.
The moves trimmed Chicago's roster to 80 active players. Rosters must be at 75 players by Wednesday.