A special teamer with a football heart, Elijah Moore has come a long way since taking part in an improvisational comedy show in the summer of 2014.
After failing to crack the Jets’ special teams chart at the college level, the Southern Miss wide receiver was set to pursue a return career in the NFL. He promised to be “proud” of himself and proved it in his time off from college football.
Moore got the opportunity to make his first play in the NFL when he caught the clinching, game-winning touchdown in the second quarter during a win over the Carolina Panthers. The impression gained from his first run on special teams took hold as he earned a starting job as a rookie.
After being named a Freshman All-American in 2016, Moore signed a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and eventually earned a roster spot, making his 2017 campaign a success. In six games as a true freshman, he carried the ball 11 times for 64 yards and three touchdowns. Moore caught 40 passes for 607 yards and two scores as the Eagles made the playoffs.
A loyal teammate who helped lead his team to their first playoff win since 2011, even as his football career was on a deep downward slide, Moore looked beyond his special teams experience as he continued to play out of control. As late as November of 2017, at the behest of his father, he was failing his high school exams.
After returning from the summer break, Moore earned his spot back on the roster by completing 72.5 percent of his passes for 885 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. In 16 games, Moore caught six balls for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
He burst onto the scene on December 8, 2016, after turning in his first record-setting game as a collegiate wide receiver. As a true freshman, he drew the attention of the Patriots, Eagles, and Bucs, and has since performed impressive special teams play.
While losing his opportunity to play special teams has left Moore emotionally raw, he puts the season behind him and hopes to be a returning starter this season with the Jets.