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Patriots claim Christian Elliss on waivers after release from Eagles

The Eagles won't be getting Christian Elliss to their practice squad after all.

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The Patriots claimed Christian Elliss on waivers Thursday, four days after he made his first career start for the Eagles, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Elliss, who has spent most of the last three years bouncing between the Eagles’ active roster and practice squad, started and played a career-high 44 snaps in the Eagles’ 42-19 loss to the 49ers.

He’s played the most special teams snaps on the team this year.

After they agreed to terms with Shaq Leonard, the Eagles released Elliss. They were expected to add him to the practice squad if he cleared waivers, but now he’s a Patriot for at least the next four weeks.

Elliss, an undrafted linebacker out of Idaho, played in one game as a rookie getting seven defensive snaps and 27 on special teams and six games last year with 22 defensive reps and 106 on special teams. He played in all 12 games this year for the Eagles — six on defense — accumulating 119 defensive snaps and 238 on special teams. Those 238 special teams snaps were most on the team, 13 more than Kelee Ringo. 

With a 2-10 record, the Patriots are second in waiver claim priority, behind only the 1-11 Panthers. After Week 3, waiver claim priority reverts from inverse order of last year’s record to this year’s record.

Elliss has been on the Eagles’ 53-man roster all year, so had he returned to the Eagles’ practice squad, he would have had three game-day elevations available.

With Elliss no longer in the mix, the Eagles have four off-ball linebackers potentially available for the Cowboys Sunday night: Zach Cunningham, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring and has been limited in practice so far this week; Nicholas Morrow, who has started eight of the last 11 games in Nakobe Dean’s absence; Leonard, who hasn’t played for the Eagles yet; and undrafted rookie Ben VanSumeren, who has never played a regular-season defensive snap.

Elliss began his career in the summer of 2021 with the Vikings but was released at the end of training camp. He joined the Eagles practice squad but was released in October and signed with the 49ers’ practice squad. After a brief stay with the 49ers he was released and returned to the Eagles.

Elliss will not be with the Patriots Thursday night when they face the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.

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