The Courier-Mail

Highs ’n’ lows of other Aussie hopefuls buried under hype

- Colin Kaepernick MELANIE DINJASKI Steve Young v Minnesota Vikings, v Pittsburgh Steelers, v Arizona Cardinals, v Green Bay Packers, v New York Giants, v Baltimore Ravens, v Seattle Seahawks, v St Louis Rams, v Atlanta Falcons, v Seattle Seahaw

JARRYD Hayne wasn’t the only Aussie NFL hopeful counting down the minutes on deadline day, as several others fought for roster spots. AFTER bouncing back from knee injuries that ruled him out of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams has most recently been fighting the biggest battle of his life – kidney cancer.

Although the Queensland­er has made valuable contributi­ons in pre-season games as he eyes his regularsea­son debut, he still wasn’t completely healthy.

The club has him on the non-football illness reserve list.

“Seattle does not deserve me playing at 80 per cent of my health,” Williams said on social media.

“I will take my time to focus on my current health situation and my family.”

The news rules Williams out for the first six weeks of the season. THE Minnesota Vikings cut 22 players, and unfortunat­ely Aussie offensive lineman David Yankey was among those who were released.

Drafted 145th last year, Yankey didn’t play in the regular season during his rookie year because of their stacked roster. But this year, Yankey had many chances to grab a starting spot. He was tested in a number of positions during the off-season as the team tried to shore up its offensive line following departures and injuries.

In pre-season, Yankey wasn’t able to convince coach Mike Zimmer he could fulfil the roles he needed. BRAD Wing was in a tight allAussie battle with Jordan Berry for the starting job with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but lost out to the challenger. Wing wasn’t terrible in preseason, though, and the New York Giants completed a trade with the Steelers to acquire the LSU graduate.

Berry, 24, turned to working at McDonald’s when he went back to Australia late last year.

“When I finished up in college, I really got no tryouts or no real opportunit­ies at all coming out of my senior year,” Berry told the Steelers Depot.

“I went back home, finding any odd job I could for that eight months just to get as much money as possible so I could come back over.”

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 ??  ?? HARD-LUCK STORIES: Jesse Williams and Brad Wing.
HARD-LUCK STORIES: Jesse Williams and Brad Wing.
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