Eagles roster moves

Eagles release Christian Elliss four days after his first NFL start

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On Sunday, Christian Elliss made his first NFL start. On Wednesday, he was released.

But we could very well see him again soon.

The Eagles released Elliss Wednesday to open up a roster spot for former all-pro linebacker Shaq Leonard, who agreed to contract terms with the Eagles on Monday.

With Zach Cunningham out for the 49ers game, Elliss got his first career start and played 44 of a possible 59 snaps. He was credited with six tackles and a tackle for loss in the Eagles' 42-19 loss.

“Christian Elliss came in and made some big-time plays,” Nick Sirianni said after the game.

Most likely, Elliss will land back on the practice squad, and once he does, he’ll have all three of his roster elevations, so he could actually wind up playing or even starting this weekend in Dallas. 

But this is kind of how the season has gone in the secondary and at linebacker, with guys coming and going every week. 

The Eagles began training camp with Nakobe Dean as a starter and Davion Taylor, Nicholas Morrow, Shaun Bradley and Ellis getting 1st-team reps and competing for the second spot.

The Eagles signed Myles Jack and Zach Cunningham on Aug. 6 and released Taylor, and eventually Cunningham emerged as the opening-day starter alongside Dean. 

When Dean suffered the first of his two foot injuries, Morrow became the second starter. With Cunningham out Sunday, Elliss started opposite Morrow. And at some point soon, Leonard and Cunningham will become the latest starting tandem.

Elliss, 24, originally joined the Eagles as an undrafted rookie out of Idaho in 2021. He’s been released three times and has played in 19 games over three seasons. He had only played 29 defensive snaps before this year but played 119 in 12 games so far. He had 21 tackles and two tackles for loss.

So as of now, the off-ball linebackers on the 53-man roster are Morrow, Leonard and undrafted rookie Ben VanSumeren, who has never played a defensive snap.

The Eagles also re-signed receiver Greg Ward to the practice squad and released WR Cam Sims from the practice squad. They had just signed him last week.

Ward, who’s been on the Eagles’ practice squad or active roster for all or part of every season since 2017, was just released from the practice squad last week. He’s been released by the Eagles 11 times over the last seven seasons. Ward led the Eagles with 53 receptions in 2020. He’s one of only seven players currently with the Eagles who was here in the 2017 Super Bowl season.

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