Redblacks release American LB Patrick Nelson, sign two others

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks have tweaked the backend of their training camp roster, releasing American Patrick Nelson as part of a quartet of minor moves.

Nelson was acquired by the Redblacks last season in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, giving up an undisclosed negotiation list player for the rights to the practice squad linebacker. He would go on to dress in five games with the team, recording three defensive tackles and two on special teams.

The 26-year-old played collegiately at Southern Methodist University, where he recorded 146 tackles, 23.5 for a loss, 14 sacks, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles through 22 games. Prior to that, the Chicago native appeared in 20 games with the University of Illinois, notching 140 tackles, five for a loss, 0.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

The team also released undrafted Canadian receiver Zakariya Karim, who was signed six days ago.

Karim caught 51 passes for 740 yards and three touchdowns over 21 career games at St. Francis Xavier. The five-foot-ten, 178-pound native of Ottawa ran a 4.74-second forty-yard dash at the 2023 CFL Combine after qualifying for the event through the CFL Invitational Combine.

In a corresponding move, the team brought back Global defensive back Edris Jean-Alphonse and added Canadian receiver Willy-Pierre Dimbongi.

Jean-Alphonse, a native of France who played collegiately at Laval, was the team’s second-round pick in the 2022 Global Draft. He dressed for four games as a rookie last season, but did not record a statistic.

Dimbongi went unselected in the 2023 CFL Draft despite attending the league’s National Combine. The six-foot-two, 190-pound target put up 22 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns with the University of Ottawa last season after transferring from Guelph.