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Former Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward signs to Jets’ practice squad

A former Central Michigan star lands on a new team

Arizona Cardinals v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals made a few cuts last Tuesday, including the surprising release of running back Jonathan Ward on injured reserve.

One week later, Ward has landed on a new team as the New York Jets signed him to their practice squad.

Ward was an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan University in 2020 and made his way onto the active roster in his rookie year. He was placed on the Cardinals’ injured reserve list in Week 5 with a hamstring injury and has been out ever since.

Though he was hardly ever used on the offense, with only 14 total touches in his three-year career, Ward was a key contributor on the Cardinals’ special teams unit over the last couple years. He played in 58 special team snaps this season. Ward made that incredible 21-yard helmet catch against the Cowboys last season.

In 32 career games, Ward has 37 scrimmage yards with his first NFL touch being a touchdown reception. He has 13 career special team tackles and can contribute in that regard immediately for the Jets as he is now fully recovered.

The Jets lost their rookie phenom Breece Hall to a season-ending ACL tear and Michael Carter sustained an ankle injury in the 31-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. With the backfield ailing, Ward is now added to their backfield that includes Carter, James Robinson, Zonovan Knight, and Ty Johnson.

Currently on their team website and contrary to the reports, Ward is listed on the New York Jets’ active roster and not the practice squad.

No matter the case, Ward should have a role sooner or later on a contending Jets (7-4) team as they currently hold the No. 7 spot in the AFC playoff picture.