As the Philadelphia Eagles inch closer and closer to the final trim down to 53, fan favorites are inevitably going to be shown the door.
Even with the new rule allowing additional older players to sign on the practice squad, only 69 healthy players are going to continue to come to work at the NovaCare Center, with a few dozen more looking for new opportunities elsewhere.
Could Greg Ward fall into that specific camp of players who land on the practice squad? You bet; Ward is well-tenured, a good leader, and the sort of guy that any team would like to have in their locker room. But will the Eagles ultimately agree with that assertion? Or would they rather fill out the practice squad with younger players like Kary Vincent Jr. and Carson Strong?
Unfortunately for Ward, there’s a very real chance that his final game in Midnight Green could officially be here, when the Eagles close out the preseason in Miami. If that happens and he either signs with another team looking for a reliable slot receiver or has to spend time unemployed, it will mark the first time since September of 2019 when Ward isn’t a member of the Eagles, which, considering everything that has happened since, is pretty incredible to imagine.
Greg Ward has experienced the highs and lows with the Philadelphia Eagles.
When Ward originally signed with the Eagles all the way back in 2017, he wasn’t even a wide receiver, let alone a favorite to make the team.
A collegiate quarterback at Houston who gave Case Keenum’s records a run for their money, Ward was deemed too small to be a reliable signal caller at the next level and thus was moved over to wide receiver in the hopes of becoming the next Julian Eddleman. Unfortunately, Ward’s efforts didn’t immediately prove to be fruitful, as he spent the 2017 season on the practice squad, but he did take home a Super Bowl ring for his efforts, so that’s one heck of a consolation prize.
From there, Ward again tried but failed to make the Eagles’ roster in 2018 and ultimately had to spend most of his year at home figuring out what to do next in his career. Fortunately, that opportunity came where it all began in Texas, where Ward was afforded a chance to play wide receiver for the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF. His abbreviated tenure in the now-defunct league, though far from prolific, earned him another run with the Eagles, and spending a few months playing wide receiver full-time against actual opponents was apparently all it took for Ward to put it all together. He began the team on the practice squad but landed on the roster in September and ultimately appeared in eight games with seven starts.
And since then? Well, Ward’s spot on the depth chart has been written in pen, not pencil. Though his role has changed from year to year, with Ward playing more under Doug Pederson than under Nick Sirianni, his abilities as an offensive player and a special teamer kept him steadily employed.
… at least until 2022.
No, with A.J. Brown, Zach Pascal, and Deon Cain all added to the roster, the numbers game just isn’t adding up for Ward, who may be released outright alongside his fellow 2019 rookie Jalen Reagor. At best, Ward sticks around on either the practice squad or IR, and at worst, he’s catching passes from Dak Prescott and making the Eagles look foolish for allowing him to leave.
Saying goodbye is hard. People, as a general rule, don’t like change, and having to watch a long-time fan favorite wave aloha is bittersweet. Still, sometimes things just stop working, and even the most sentimental fan would have to admit it’d be better to see Ward thrive elsewhere than sit on the bench for the Eagles with no real chance to make an impact.