Michael Sam has been cut from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football league, got his release from the Cowboys today, The Dallas Morning News reports. As a member of the practice squad and not the regular roster, he had not appeared in a game.
Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in May and was cut in August. The Cowboys signed him to the practice squad September 3.
"Questions persisted about how the 6-2, 261-pound Sam fit with the Cowboys," the Morning News reports. The coaches weren't sure he could play defensive end "in a system that places tremendous emphasis on speed and explosiveness," the paper notes.
Sam recently defended his abilities, saying, "Did you not watch my preseason? Did it look like I was slow? Then I'm an end."
Sam, who was an All-American defensive lineman at the University of Missouri, will now "have to make his case with another club," the Morning News reports.
This comes just after reports that Sam's sexual orientation had been a nonissue with the Cowboys, bearing out his wish to be judged only on his playing abilities and putting the lie to speculation that his being gay would be a "distraction."
Indeed, that still appears to be Sam's goal, judging by his tweets sent out immediately after the news of his cut broke: