Eagles

Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

Eagles add wide receiver Greg Ward, place Jordan Mailata on IR

With DeSean Jackson out for Sunday and Alshon Jeffery questionable, the Eagles on Saturday signed wide receiver Greg Ward from the practice squad to the active roster.

To make room on the 53-man roster, they placed second-year offensive tackle Jordan Mailata on injured reserve for a second consecutive year with a back injury.

This is Ward’s first time on a 53-man roster, but he’s been in camp with the Eagles the last three summers and gotten better each year.

Ward is mainly a slot receiver, so if he does get on the field on offense Nelson Agholor would be outside. 

Earlier this week, Ward spoke about how he prepares, regardless of if he’s going to play or not.

“Honestly, I stay ready every week, because you never know,” he said. “Whenever my name is called, it’s called. If it’s not this week, if it’s not next week, I’m still going to prepare like I’m playing  every single week. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

Once the Eagles practiced Wednesday without adding an outside receiver it seemed like a lock that Ward would get the promotion, because he was able to practice all week and get the same reps whether he was on the 53 or the practice squad.

Without Ward, the Eagles had only three healthy receivers on the roster — Agholor, Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

Ward, a quarterback at Houston, first joined the Eagles in 2017 and spent the season on the practice squad. He was in camp again in 2018, then spent this past winter in the Alliance of American Football, catching 22 passes for 214 yards in eight games. When the AAF folded, he rejoined the Eagles.

Ward caught six passes for 87 yards and a 38-yard touchdown from Clayton Thorson in the preseason.

He was released with the final roster cutdown and signed to the practice squad as soon as he cleared waivers.

As for Mailata, it was really the smartest move for the Eagles, since the only alternative was releasing a player they didn’t want to release.

Depending on how he’s doing and depending also on other injuries, he would be a candidate to rejoin the 53-man roster after eight weeks on IR.

Mailata, like Ward, has never played in an NFL game.

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Eagles' worst trick plays in recent years

Eagles' worst trick plays in recent years

Doug Pederson’s got a statue outside Lincoln Financial Field commemorating his most famous trick-play call. The Philly Special will live on in Eagles lore forever, but Sunday's attempt at trickery — a failed fake field goal — fell flat.

Here are some of the worst trick plays in recent Eagles history:

2019 Week 6 at Vikings
The Eagles' fake field goal attempt at the end of the first half turned into a disaster. The decision was awful and the execution wasn’t any better. The Vikings played it safe and Jake Elliott was picked off. Points were left on the field.

2013 Week 3 vs Chiefs
Chip Kelly was going to revolutionize football and go for two all the time. This was his first attempt of a “swinging gate” trick play on an extra point that he ran regularly at Oregon. The ball was snapped directly to Zach Ertz, who was lined up out wide. He was tackled short of the end zone. Chip lost that one from the playbook in a hurry.

2012 Week 9 at Saints
Riley Cooper laid in the endzone totally undetected on a kickoff return. But the issue arose when Brandon Boykin’s cross-field throw was actually ruled a forward lateral. A 94-yard touchdown was wiped out by that penalty.

2011 Week 4 vs 49ers
One of the most memorable plays from the “Dream Team” season — 3rd-and-Goal from the 1-yard line. Ronnie Brown decides to try and throw the ball while being tackled to ground. It ended up as a fumble recovered by the 49ers.  

2003 Week 6 at Cowboys
Andy Reid caught everyone sleeping with an onside kick to start the 2000 season in Dallas. He tried it again in 2003 against the Cowboys, but this time the Cowboys were ready. Randal Williams fielded the ball and took it back 37 yards for a touchdown. Just three seconds into the game, the Eagles were down 7-0. It still stands as the fastest touchdown ever scored in an NFL game.

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Eagles injury report: The latest on injuries to Nigel Bradham and Jason Peters

Eagles injury report: The latest on injuries to Nigel Bradham and Jason Peters

Sounds like good news on Nigel Bradham and Jason Peters, who both left the Vikings game early with injuries.

Bradham suffered an ankle injury and Peters left the game with a knee injury, but Pederson on Monday classified both injuries as day-to-day. 

“We’re sending their information off, they want second opinions obviously, so we grant that for them,” he said. “Looks like it’s more day-to-day with these two guys. We’ll see later today and for sure on Wednesday.”

Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby are both likely to return to practice when the Eagles return to work on Wednesday and could be available to play against the Cowboys Sunday, Pederson.

Pederson said DeSean Jackson is improving but is not expected back at practice on Wednesday.

Mills hasn’t played in nearly a year because of an unknown foot injury. Monday is the first day he’s eligible to be activated from the PUP list onto the 53-man roster.

Darby has missed the last three games after injuring his hamstring in the Lions game. He’s played only 23 of a possible 43 games since the Eagles acquired him from the Bills before the 2017 season.

Darby is on the 53-man roster, but if the Eagles activate Mills before practice Wednesday they would have to make a corresponding roster move, perhaps releasing cornerback Ryan Lewis.

We’re going to incorporate Jalen Mills a little bit this week in practice, we’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week and if he’s capable maybe there’s an opportunity there (for him to play),” Pederson said. “Darby, we expect him to ramp his workload up a little bit and see where he’s at. We’re starting to get healthy. … We’re slowly starting to get guys back.

Mills hasn’t played since the Jaguars game last Oct. 28, and Pederson said the Eagles will have to really limit his playing time when he does return because of the long layoff.

Pederson indicated that Darby should be able to handle a larger workload immediately.

You’ve got to be careful with Jalen, he hasn’t played in a while, that’s why practice is so important for him,” Pederson said. “I don’t think it would be smart on our part to put him out there for a full 60-minute game if he’s ready to go. I think Darby, on the other hand, you could do that because he’s played this season, so I would expect Darby to play a little more if he’s healthy than say Jalen.

As for Jackson, he’s now missed most of the last five games after getting hurt in the opening minutes of the Falcons game. 

Jackson caught two long TD passes in the opener, but the Eagles don’t have a catch of over 26 yards by a wide receiver in their last four games.

“DeSean is working,” Pederson said. “He’s still day-to-day. We’ll see again by the end of the week where he’s at. … DeSean probably won’t practice Wednesday, but we’re giving to continue to keep running him and use that as part of his rehab.”

If Jackson doesn’t practice Wednesday, he would have to make a significant amount of practice on Thursday and Friday to be available for the Cowboys.

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