American football: Paul Lasike waived by Chicago Bears

Kiwi Paul Lasike runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the NFL pre-season. Photo / AP
Kiwi Paul Lasike runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the NFL pre-season. Photo / AP

Kiwi Paul Lasike's involvement in the NFL has been brief, waived by the Chicago Bears just two games into the new season.

Lasike became the third New Zealand-born player to feature in the NFL after securing a spot on the Bears' 53-man roster, but featured sparingly as the Bears began their campaign with two losses.

The fullback carried the ball only once for two yards and enjoyed little time on the field against the Houston Texans (19 snaps) and Philadelphia Eagles (five snaps).

He did complete an impressive block to set up a touchdown against the Eagles but, with his fullback position a dying art in the modern NFL, the Bears today announced they had decided waive the Kiwi.

It's a bitter blow for Lasike, having made a rapid rise to the top level of American sport. The 26-year-old is in just his fifth year playing football, after initially heading to Utah-based college BYU on a rugby scholarship.

Lasike last season was cut by the Arizone Cardinals in pre-season before landing on the Bears' practice squad. And, after a strong pre-season, his elevation to the full-time roster saw Lasike follow in the footsteps of Riki Ellison and David Dixon as New Zealanders in the NFL.

But he will now be looking for another home or, if none of the other 31 teams is interested in his services, Lasike could potentially remain with the Bears' practice squad.

- NZ Herald

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