Philadelphia Eagles

One Defender singled out for criticism after loss to 49ers

The Philadelphia Eagles are making a few moves to coincide with Shaquille Leonard’s addition to the roster.

The Eagles announced on Wednesday, December 6, that linebacker Christian Elliss is being released. Given that the 24-year-old started during the team’s 42-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14, the move is unexpected.

On the Eagles’ official website, Owen Boyle reports, “The Eagles have waived linebacker Christian Elliss from the active roster.” Elliss has 16 tackles, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback pressure in 12 games this season. In Week 13, the 24-year-old took the field for the first time in his career against the San Francisco 49ers. The Minnesota Vikings waived the undrafted free agent, who signed with the team in 2021. Elliss played in 19 games for the Eagles, recording 26 tackles.

Ellis made six total tackles in his first career start against San Francisco, playing in 75% of the defensive snaps. After Zach Cunningham’s injury the week before, he played in 28% of the defensive snaps in the Eagles’ 37-34 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Cunningham is anticipated to return for the Dallas Cowboys game this week, though. Elliss became the odd man out when Leonard signed and he returned.

Elliss has spent the most of his playing time with the Eagles during his career, participating in 87% of special teams snaps in 2021, 62% of special teams snaps in 2022, and 76% of special teams snaps this season.

Eagles Bringing Back Wide Receiver Greg Ward

In a corresponding move, Philadelphia is bringing back a longtime receiver.

The Eagles also announced they’re re-signing wide receiver Greg Ward to the practice squad.

Boyle reports, “Wide receiver Greg Ward has been added by the Eagles to the practice squad.” On November 30, Ward was cut from the practice squad. After winning Super Bowl LII while on the practice squad, Ward was initially signed by the team in 2017. The former college quarterback caught 88 passes for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns in 40 career games (13 starts). Ward set team records for receptions (53) and receiving touchdowns (6) in 2020.

Since making his initial signing with the Eagles back in 2017, Ward has been and gone from the practice squad. Since then, Ward has participated in every season with Philadelphia’s organization, but he hasn’t made an appearance in a game since 2021.

Nick Sirianni Comments on Shaquille Leonard’s Signing

It’s safe to say that the Eagles are excited regarding the addition of Leonard.

The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker is expected to beef up an already stacked front seven featuring four Pro Bowlers — Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick — after choosing the Eagles over the Cowboys.

Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke of Leonard’s signing shortly following his decision earlier in the week.

Via Alexis Chassen of SB Nation’s Bleeding Green Nation:

On Monday, December 4, Sirianni stated, “We know we’re getting the right person, right leader, with all that.” “And based on the tape, we remain confident that he can still play. He has a long history of being a top player in this league; in 2018, he made his debut. Three times as an all-pro player is a long time to be a player. Has the ability to take the ball away even now. Has the ability to run and strike the ball carrier still. Still needs to throw hard in the passing lane due to his length.

During his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, the three-time Pro Bowler recorded 15 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 11 interceptions. The Eagles may have a case for having the best defensive group in the NFL if he can produce those kinds of big plays in Philadelphia.


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