The Eagles made an interesting roster move on Saturday afternoon, placing OT Jordan Mailata on injured reserve and promoting WR Greg Ward Jr. from the practice squad.
The move doesn’t really come as a surprise. Mailata has been listed on the injury report every week so far with a back injury, which is naturally a slight cause for concern after he had problems with his back last year. Mailata was never realistically going to see NFL snaps this season, so it makes sense to keep him on IR, let his back heal, and bring in a player who can help.
WR Greg Ward Jr. is the man taking his place and it’s probably a sign that Alshon Jeffery will not play on Sunday.
The former Houston quarterback transitioned to wide receiver and spent the next two years on the edge of making the Eagles 53-man roster. Over two preseasons with the Eagles, Ward caught 13 passes for 92 yards, proving himself at 5’11, 190 lbs, to play physically, snatching balls out of the air with an impressive catch radius and developing as a route runner.
He then bounced to the now-defunct AAF where he played for the San Antonio Commanders, honing his craft further, recording 22 receptions for 214 yards and more importantly, showcased an ability as a returner, bringing back nine punts for 135 yards, leading the league with an average of 15 yards per return.
Ward Jr. returned to the Eagles this Summer and was an inch short of making the final 53, despite another strong preseason that saw him amass 87 receiving yards. But finally, Ward Jr. is going to be on a gameday roster.
Whether or not he’ll see game-time is unclear, but it’s a huge moment for a player who has spent three years doing all he can to make this team, and for a franchise who need all the temporary help they can get at wide receiver.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Luciano