Air Force graduate Garrett Griffin will make his first appearance on an NFL active 53-man roster on Sunday, according to the NFL Network.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune, citing an unnamed source, also reported that Griffin will be activated from the New Orleans Saints practice squad on Sunday for a game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Saints ruled out tight end Coby Fleener (concussion) on Friday.
Griffin graduated from the academy in 2016 following a career in which he caught 41 passes for 678 yards and eight touchdowns. The timing was fortuitous, as service academy graduates for that one year were permitted to immediately pursue professional sports opportunities. In the past, and now once again, grads must serve two years on active duty before applying to serve on reserves for the purpose of playing professional sports.
The temporary rule change was made in reaction to the NFL prospects of Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdowns.
Reynolds has been on an active roster for just one game, the 2016 finale for the Baltimore Ravens.
Navy graduate Chris Swain has also spent time on NFL practice squads, but the fullback has not logged any time on an active roster.
If Griffin plays on Sunday, he would be the first Air Force grad to make his NFL debut since Ben Garland first appeared for the Denver Broncos on Nov. 9, 2014.
Members of NFL practice squads earn a minimum of $7,200 per week.
According to some of Griffin's former teammates, it has also been a job that comes with little-to-n0 wear and tear on the body as NFL teams minimize contact after training camp. Apparently the one rough week for Griffin came when he was assigned to mimic Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack on the scout team and was continuously chipped by Saints teammates throughout practices leading up to that game.