The Eagles made a flurry of roster moves involving the practice squad on Thursday, including the promotion of Ben VanSumeren to the 53-man roster and the release of Greg Ward Jr. from the practice squad.
Here’s a look at their moves from Thursday:
• LB VanSumeren signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad
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• DB Josiah Scott and WR Cam Sims signed to the practice squad
• WR Ward Jr. released from the practice squad
Ward, 28, began his NFL career with the Eagles back in 2017 as a UDFA from the University of Houston and was on their practice squad for Super Bowl LII and Super Bowl LVII. In between, Ward got a chance to play with the Eagles on Sundays and was productive. His best season came in 2020, when he caught 53 passes for 419 yards and 6 touchdowns. The former college quarterback turned himself into a relatively productive NFL receiver.
In the years since Ward was a big part of the Eagles’ offense, the franchise has really improved the position, adding DeVonta Smith and then A.J. Brown. But Ward remained on the practice squad and was one of the most respected players in the locker room.
VanSumeren, 23, is an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State. He had already been elevated from the practice squad for the last three games, which means he’s out of elevations. The only way for the Eagles to have him on Sunday against the 49ers was to sign him to the 53-man roster.
And the Eagles will need him on Sunday. Because Zach Cunningham (hamstring) is not expected to play. That leaves the Eagles with Nicholas Morrow and Christian Elliss in their starting lineup. While former All-Pro Shaquille Leonard visited the Birds on Wednesday, he’s taking his time to make a decision so the Eagles need VanSumeren for at least this game.
Scott was just waived on Tuesday. After clearing waivers, the Eagles decided to keep him in the building. Scott was inactive against the Bills.
Sims, 27, is a big-bodied target who went undrafted out of Alabama in 2018. He was teammates with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith at Alabama. Sims (6-5, 214) played in 55 games for Washington from 2018-2022, catching 57 passes for 804 yards and 3 touchdowns.