Eagles release their leading receiver from 2020

Ten months after he was one of the NFL’s most productive wide receiver over a five-game stretch, Travis Fulgham is out of work.

The Eagles on Tuesday released Fulgham, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

This move combined with the release of John Hightower leaves the Eagles with just five wide receivers - DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who appears to have the team made … at least for now.

Wide receiver is a position to watch following final cuts later Tuesday because the Eagles have strong waiver claim placement, and it’s certainly one area the Eagles could be looking to improve their depth.

Fulgham began training camp as one of the leading candidates not to just make the team but to get significant reps along with Smith and Reagor.

But his problems catching the football from the second half of last year continued and he was never able to show the consistency he needed to earn a roster spot.

His only reception of the preseason was an 18-yarder from Nick Mullens against the Jets Friday night down to the 2-yard-line. It wasn’t a great throw, but Fulgham did manage to catch the ball, only to fumble out of the end zone for a touchback.

It would have been a great play if Fulgham managed to score, but it’s the kind of play he routinely was unable to finish during camp. It didn’t help that earlier in the game Arcega-Whiteside turned a pass from Joe Flacco into a 42-yard touchdown.

It’s really an incredible fall from grace for Fulgham, whose 435 yards against the Steelers, Ravens, Giants, Cowboys and Giants again were the most by any Eagles WR since Jeremy Maclin had 456 in Weeks 8 through 12 of the 2014 season. 

He also became the first Eagles WR with 70 or more yards in four straight games since DeSean Jackson in 2012 and only the second since T.O. in 2005.

Only D.K. Metalf (491) and Davante Adams (483) had more yards during that five-game span than Fulgham, whose only previous playing came in 2019 with the Lions, when he played three games without catching a pass.

Fulgham’s meteoric rise from scrap heap to big-play starter was followed by an equally meteoric fall.

He caught only nine passes for 104 yards the rest of last year, and head coach Doug Pederson made thinly veiled references to his work and practice habits.

By the second half of the year, Fulgham had lost playing time to Quez Watkins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. After averaging 52 snaps in his first seven games, he averaged just 25 the rest of the year.

Despite his drop-off, Fulgham finished as the Eagles' leading wide receiver, with 38 catches for 539 yards and four touchdowns.

With his release, Ward becomes the only WR on the roster with more than 31 career receptions.

Fulgham was initially a 6th-round pick of the Lions in 2019. The Eagles claimed him off waivers, and he spent the first month of the season on the practice squad before the Eagles activated him on Oct. 3.

One day later he began his electrifying five-game span.

Fulgham is only 25 and the Eagles would presumably keep him on the practice squad if he clears waivers, but there’s also a chance he gets claimed by a team that puts more importance on those five games last fall than everything that’s happened since.

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