Clement (knee) isn't sure when he will be cleared for practice, but he doesn't have any concern about his Week 1 availability, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic Philadelphia reports. "I'm back at it," Clement said Monday. "It wasn't an ACL. None of that. I'm hitting the ground running. You can expect Corey to be out there Game 1."
Clement still hasn't provided specifics on the season-ending knee injury he suffered Week 14, but he at least seemed to clarify that it wasn't a major ligament tear. He also mentioned wanting to play at around 210 pounds, believing a lighter frame (he's listed at 220) can help him become a more versatile player. It makes sense for Clement to focus on his quickness and pass-catching skills after the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard to serve as their bruiser on early downs. With Darren Sproles still pondering retirement and Wendell Smallwood far from a lock to earn a significant role, Clement has a path to regular playing time in passing situations. It sounds like the 24-year-old will be absent or limited throughout the offseason program, but he should get back on the field to compete for a role at some point during training camp.
A pleasant surprise as a rookie and a considerable disappointment in his sophomore campaign, Clement is now recovering from a December knee injury, with the Eagles declining to provide any details. His health may have played a role in the decision to acquire Howard, but it's more likely the team simply jumped at the opportunity to acquire a proven lead runner in exchange for a late-round pick. If healthy, Clement likely offers enough versatility to keep his roster spot safe, with potential to handle passing downs and/or spell Howard on early downs. The recent transaction is worse news for Josh Adams, whose strengths largely seem to overlap with Howard's. The Eagles also have Wendell Smallwood and could add another running back in the upcoming draft.
Clement was placed on injured reserve two days after sustaining the injury, with one report suggesting the issue could be serious enough to impact his offseason routine. There haven't been any updates on a diagnosis, but Clement seems to be facing a significant hurdle in his attempt to bounce back from a sophomore slump. The rest of the Philadelphia backfield is equally unsettled, with Darren Sproles presumably contemplating retirement and Jay Ajayi (knee) potentially headed for free agency while rehabbing a torn ACL. The Eagles have Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams under contract for 2019, but neither player inspires much confidence in a lead role. The team likely will look for an external upgrade even if Sproles and/or Ajayi stick around.
Clement (knee) likely will have some limitations during the offseason program, Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com reports.
While the Eagles haven't provided details on Clement's injury, this timeline suggests it's something fairly severe, though not quite on par with an ACL or patella tear. The second-year running back was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, finishing a disappointing sophomore season with 68 carries for 259 yards (3.8 YPC) and two touchdowns as well as 22 catches for 192 yards on 25 targets (7.7 YPT). Clement's role in 2019 will largely depend on what the Eagles do in the offseason. Jay Ajayi (knee) is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and Darren Sproles may finally be ready to retire.
Clement (knee) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
The Eagles haven't publicly commented on the results of the MRI that Clement required Monday, but the running back's move to IR implies that he was likely looking at a multi-week recovery timeline. With Clement officially shut down for the final three regular-season contests and a potential postseason run, Darren Sproles checks in as the top change-of-pace option behind starter Josh Adams, while Wendell Smallwood also slides up a spot on the depth chart.
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