Efe Obada re-signed by Carolina Panthers after rollercoaster few days

Efe Obada re-signed by Carolina Panthers after initially being named in 53-man roster and then waived 24 hours later in rollercoaster few days

  • Efe Obada made the Carolina Panthers final 53-man roster on Saturday 
  • The Nigerian-born fan favourite was one of three players waived the next day 
  • Then he was re-signed on Monday after CB Eli Apple was placed on IR

It has been an eventful few days for Efe Obada.

The Carolina Panthers were first NFL team to announce their final 53-man roster on Saturday, and the versatile defensive lineman had made it.

On Sunday, he tweeted his happiness at the decision. But a few hours later, he was one of three players waived after the Panthers claimed as many players off waivers.

And then, following the decision to place cornerback Eli Apple on injured reserve, Obada was back on the team.

And after laughing (and crying) at his original tweet, Obada showed his sense of humour by tweeting a picture of an Uno reverse card.

Efe Obada re-signed Carolina Panthers just a day after being waived from the roster

The fan-favourite defensive end saw the funny side after his selection was short lived

Obada has made himself at home in Carolina, endearing himself to team-mates and fans alike.

Last month, new head coach Matt Rhule praised the 28-year-old for his work ethic and for his ability to put on 10lbs in the offseason. The 6ft 6in Obada now weighs a fearsome 19-and-a-half stone.

‘He’s a really good player. We’re trying to carve out and find a great roel for him where he can make an impact on the game. He’s the kind of guy that makes you have a good defense.’

During lockdown, Obada was forced to be in Caroline while his wife, who has a systematic autoimmune disorder, was shielding in London.

He only saw her twice during the pandemic, and had to quarantine himself for 14 days when landing in England and on his return to the US.

He was picked after being praised by new head coach Matt Rhule (pictured) in training camp

Obada, who signed a one-year, $750,000 deal in January, has one of the most remarkable stories in sport.

He grew up in Nigeria, was trafficked to England via Holland aged 10 and spent time on the streets of London looking after his sister.

By chance, he started playing American football with the London Warriors and after five games was flown out to Dallas to work out with the Cowboys. After stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, Obada joined the Panthers in 2018 after a successful spell on the NFL’s International Pathway Programme.

Former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera handed Obada his debut in week three of the 2018 season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Obada came away with a sack, an interception and a game ball. He was also named the NFC’s defensive player of the week.

The 6ft 6in former London Warriors star has re-signed for the Panthers after rollercoaster week

Last October, he returned to the capital and was an honorary caption for the Panthers’ 37-26 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Panthers begin their season against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, and earlier today Rhule was questioned about letting Obada go. They also waived offensive tackle Matt Kaskey and safety Kenny Robinson, this year’s fifth-round pick, and picked up former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas, defensive end Shareef Miller plus former Chargers offensive tackle Trent Cannon.

Rhule said: ‘I love Efe. He’s a tremendous person and player. Hard decisions have to be made, unfortunately.’

But, not for the first time, the life of Efe Obada continues to take remarkable turns.

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