Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Eagles receiver Greg Ward Jr. trusting God, making impact after winding journey to NFL

Wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. has been involved in 16 different roster transactions since signing with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The most recent, on Nov. 23, saw Ward promoted to the Eagles’ 53-man roster for just the second time.

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He’s seen playing time in each game since, and this past Sunday, Ward’s game-winning 4-yard touchdown reception with 26 seconds left against Washington kept Philadelphia (7-7) tied with the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East.

Sunday’s game marked Ward’s first NFL start, and he tied for the team lead with seven receptions and 61 receiving yards in the win. The unusual path Ward — who says “God 1st” and lists Matthew 19:26 in his Twitter bio — has taken to becoming a contributing player on an NFL team created an opportunity for growth in his relationship with Christ.

“A lot of patience went into it,’’ he recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A lot of faith. A lot of hard work. Just trusting the process, honestly. Just praying a lot and thanking God for the opportunity. My faith has grown through the whole process.’’

Ward played quarterback during his college career at the University of Houston, throwing for 8,704 yards and 52 touchdowns. He added another 2,381 yards and 39 touchdowns on the ground. In 2015, he led the Cougars to a 13-1 record and a victory over Florida State in the Peach Bowl.

After Philadelphia released him from its practice squad on Sept. 7, 2018, Ward signed with the San Antonio Commanders in the Alliance of American Football. He re-signed with the Eagles when the league folded and returned to their practice squad.

A slew of injuries to the Eagles’ receiving corps this year has provided Ward an opportunity to play a key role on a team in the playoff hunt, and he is taking full advantage of it. He recorded his first career reception in Week 12 and has caught at least one pass in every game since.

Up next for Ward and the Eagles is a showdown with the Cowboys on Sunday, as first place in the division is on the line. Kickoff is 4:25 p.m. ET.

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