The first two days of the week brought bad news for two former IU football stars.
On Tuesday, the Denver Broncos waived their 2021 fifth-round draft choice Jamar Johnson.
Johnson had just played in the team’s Saturday preseason opener, and he led the Broncos with seven tackles.
In 2021 Johnson made the Denver 53-man roster as a rookie despite dealing with an illness and an injury. He played only three games on special teams, and ended up with no stats.
Johnson finished tied with Jaylin Williams atop the 2020 IU team with four interceptions. Johnson, who returned those picks 94 yards, was the active IU leader with nine career takeaways and seven career interceptions before he gave up his final year of eligibility to enter the draft.
He finished the eight-game 2020 season with 43 tackles including 33 solo, 3.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups to go along with a sack and a forced fumble.
The 6-foot-1 and 197 pound Johnson picked off his first pass in 2018 at Rutgers. He delivered a memorable 63-yard pick-six in the Gator Bowl loss to Tennessee.
On Monday, former Big Ten receiver of the year Ty Fryfogle was waived by Dallas. He had signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in the spring.
Fryfogle’s 2020 breakout season with IU included recognition as the Big Ten conference’s receiver of the year and third-team All-American. The Mississippi product chose to forego the draft following that season and return to IU. He finished the 2021 season sixth on Indiana’s career lists in receptions (158) and yardage (2,231).
Monday’s waiver of Fryfogle comes with an injured hamstring designation. If he goes unclaimed by another team, Fryfogle could revert to injured reserve.
This is most likely not the end of the pro football road for either player, who have multiple paths back to the league, including signing with another NFL franchise this summer.
Johnson was the victim of a crowded Denver safety room, but he seems to be a good candidate to land on a practice squad this season.
There are additional routes other former Hoosiers have taken lately.
Former IU linebacker Tegray Scales used the Canadian Football League to make a return to the NFL this summer with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The return of the USFL also helped propel running back Stevie Scott back to the NFL this summer, where he was briefly a teammate of Johnson in Denver.
For a list of Hoosiers who were with NFL teams to open training camps, GO HERE.
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