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Eagles begin making roster cuts, expected to release Greg Ward

The Eagles roster must be trimmed to 53 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Eagles’ wide receiver Greg Ward (84) looks on during OTAs at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia in June.
Eagles’ wide receiver Greg Ward (84) looks on during OTAs at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia in June.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

The Eagles’ roster-trimming has begun.

A day before the deadline to finalize the 53-man roster for the start of the regular season, the team cut a handful of players going into Monday’s practice.

Wide receiver Greg Ward was the most notable player expected to be released, according to an NFL source confirming an report. The veteran had become somewhat of a fixture in the Eagles locker room and had a close relationship with Jalen Hurts, among other players, but missed almost all of training camp with a toe injury. According to the report, Ward will receive an injury settlement from the team.

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Ward ascended from the practice squad to become a starter for the Eagles in 2019 after injuries devastated the team’s wide receiver depth chart. The slot receiver caught the game-deciding touchdown against Washington in Week 14 that season and started 10 games the following year.

Ward saw significantly less playing time last season, but was considered a leader in a noticeably inexperienced wide receiver room.

“I can’t say enough good things about Greg Ward,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said in January. “He’s one of the main leaders on this team. He’s one of the main leaders in that wideout room. It’s through example of how he kind of goes about his business.

“For a guy to have 50 or 60 catches that he had last year. And then take a little bit step back of the role that he had this year, but still be able to lead, that speaks volumes to what kind of person Greg Ward is. Each room needs a leader in that aspect.”

Aside from Ward, Carson Strong, Jason Huntley, Richard Rodgers, Jaquiski Tartt, Cameron Tom, and Renell Wren were all absent at practice following reports of their respective releases. Rodgers’ release was confirmed by The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.

Huntley had a 67-yard touchdown run in the preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins last Saturday, but Pro Football Network reported he was informed he’ll be waived before the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday. If he clears waivers, Huntley could start the season on the Eagles’ practice squad, as he did last season.

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Depending on the status of Miles Sanders’ hamstring injury, the Eagles could potentially be stretched thin at running back going into the season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 11.

Tartt’s release, which was reported by Adam Caplan, comes after the veteran safety struggled to crack the first team during training camp. He signed with the Eagles late in the offseason with the hope of finding a role in an unproven safety room, but was overtaken by Josiah Scott and Reed Blankenship in the last month.

» READ MORE: ‘No comment’: Eagles describe — and decline to discuss — life on the roster bubble ahead of NFL cut day

Even though Strong was a priority undrafted free agent last May, his reported release shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The former Nevada quarterback saw increasingly less practice reps as training camp progressed and didn’t play much during the preseason.

Strong threw just three passes in two series of playing time against the Dolphins. After the game, Sirianni said the team was prioritizing reps for backup quarterbacks Reid Sinnett and Gardner Minshew.

“We wanted Reid to get some work,” Sirianni said. “We wanted Gardner to get some work. That was a little bit more about that than anything.”

The Eagles have roughly 20 moves left to make before Tuesday’s deadline. Mostly all of the players still on the roster were present at practice Monday. Despite an elbow injury suffered against the Cleveland Browns earlier this month, undrafted rookie cornerback Josh Jobe was on the field with a bulky brace on his left arm.