That quest hit a speed bump Tuesday. Needing to get down to 75 players, the San Francisco 49ers waived/injured Okoye, the 2012 Olympian from Great Britain who landed an NFL contract with an impressive showing at the NFL Super Regional Combine in Dallas.
Okoye suffered a knee injury during the 49ers' preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Tuesday that Okoye did not sustain an ACL injury and the injury is not season-ending. The 49ers have the option of bringing him back to the practice squad once he's healthy.
"We'll have his rights when he's healthy and we can sign him back," Harbaugh said.
Okoye remains an NFL long shot, but his measurables make him an intriguing project at defensive end. It's more an issue of patience, and how much patience the 49ers' coaching staff has for the rugby and track star.
In other 49ers news, the team placed defensive tackles Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial, running back Marcus Lattimore, offensive tackle Luke Marquardt and cornerback Eric Wright on the reserve/NFI list. The team also announced that wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham will be placed on the reserve/PUP List.
None of those players will count against the 49ers' active roster, and all seven are eligible to return to action following Week 6 of the regular season. Lattimore's designation tells us the team has at least some hope he can be a contributor this season. Wright could be a nice midseason addition to the secondary.
Cornerback Chris Culliver was moved to injured reserve, officially ending his season. The team also waived/injured defensive tackle Lamar Divens.