Corey Clement awaits phone call after doing all he could to make Eagles

Corey Clement awaits phone call after doing all he could to make Eagles

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.— Corey Clement walked off the MetLife field Thursday night knowing he did everything he could do to win a job.
The rest is up to Howie Roseman.
"It's like a re-draft," Clement said. "You either get a good phone call or a bad phone call. I've got a great head on my shoulders, and I don't think I'm looking forward to any bad news."
Clement ran only four times for 16 yards in the Eagles' preseason finale against the Jets and finished the preseason with a modest 3.8 per-carry average.
But over the last three games, he averaged 4.4 yards a pop and gradually was added to more and more special teams units, which is always a good sign for a young player.
Donnel Pumphrey was a fourth-round pick and Clement undrafted, but if the roster is based on merit, there'll be a roster spot for the Glassboro native and former Wisconsin Badger.
"I feel great," Clement said. "I feel like I'm in a positive spot. I didn't get as many carries as I expected, but I utilized everything on special teams. ... I had a great time out there actually getting more time on special teams, showing (special teams) coach (Dave) Fipp that I can utilize my skills more. It just shows growth. From day one to now, to the end of camp.
"I think I left it all out there on the field for the last game, and hopefully I made it as hard as possible for them (to cut me)."
Pumphrey averaged just 1.9 yards on 26 carries in the preseason, and his longest carry went five yards. It's hard to imagine the Eagles keeping five running backs — LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood are the top three — so unless the Eagles find a convenient injury for Pumphrey, they'll likely have to choose between Clement and Pumphrey, the record-setting back from San Diego State.
The Eagles haven't released a rookie fourth-round pick in 20 years, since Iowa safety Damien Robinson in 1997. Before that, it was Cal quarterback Dave Barr in 1995.

For the record, Robinson resurfaced with the Buccaneers and in 2000 ranked seventh in the NFL with six interceptions.

Another member of that 1997 draft class, Duce Staley, is now Clement's position coach.
"Duce opened up the doors for me," Clement said. "He's allowed me to get within my comfort zone and play as fast as possible. Everything started within the coaching room.
"The running backs beside me — Sproles, LeGarrette, Smallwood, Pumphrey and (Byron) Marshall — those guys stuck around me. We all competed and competition brings out the best in us."
NFL rosters must be reduced to the regular-season limit by 4 p.m. Saturday. Clement is going to get a call one way or another. His NFL fate will be on the other end of the line.
"I never know what they're thinking," he said. "I always want to avoid complacency. Just wanted to go out there and have fun and hopefully get some good news."
Bottom line: Do you think you'll make the 53?
"Yes, I do," Clement said. "You've always got to show confidence. If I said no, then I'm in the wrong sport. You've got to have confidence within yourself.
"I look forward to some great news and a smile from my parents and the (people in the) town of Glassboro, N.J., and Philadelphia as well. ...
"I just ... want to thank the coaching staff so much for giving me the opportunity from being an undrafted rookie free agent to possibly making this team."

Doug Pederson responds to Chris Thompson's comments about Eagles fans

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Doug Pederson responds to Chris Thompson's comments about Eagles fans

Redskins running back Chris Thompson doesn't want to bring his family to the Linc Monday night because he's afraid of what Eagles fans will do.

Doug Pederson hopes Thompson changes his mind.

"Philly fans are some of the meanest fans I've ever experienced," Thompson told ESPN radio's Washington affiliate, ESPN 980, on Wednesday, according to a story in the Washington Post.

"I heard that's the one stadium you keep your family from going to. My family will be (up from Florida) this week, and they were like, 'I want to come to the Philly game.' I said, 'Absolutely not, you're going to have to wait until Dallas comes around. … I was told that right away my rookie year: Keep your family away."

Pederson said he loves Eagles fans and the energy and passion they bring but also said he hopes Thompson or any opposing player feels comfortable bringing his family to the Linc.  

"I just know that playing at home is a great advantage for us," Pederson said before practice Thursday. "Our fans are great, they're energetic, I love playing at the Linc. 

"You know, I hope every family can watch their sons play. I think it's important that they're there and have a chance to watch their siblings play, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents.

"Right now in the league, every stadium is great for the home team and ours is no different. We're just excited now to finally be getting a stretch of games where we can play for the home fans."

Thompson, a fifth-year running back out of Florida State, has played at the Linc twice, in 2015 and 2016, both Redskins wins.

The Eagles, 5-1, host the 3-2 Redskins in a national TV game Monday night at the Linc. The Eagles are 8-2 at home under Pederson, including a 2-0 mark this year, although they're only 4-6 at home against the Redskins over the last 10 years.

Ronald Darby returns to practice for Eagles, status for Monday uncertain

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Ronald Darby returns to practice for Eagles, status for Monday uncertain

There's some good news coming out of the NovaCare Complex on Thursday: Ronald Darby is back at practice. 

Head coach Doug Pederson said Darby, who has missed every game since the opener with a dislocated ankle, will practice this week, at least as a limited participant. 

"I can't commit at this time if he's going to be ready (to play on Monday night)," Pederson said, "but we're going to give him some reps this week and see where he's at but he's doing extremely well."

Darby will be practicing this week but it seems unlikely he'll play on Monday night at the Linc. Pederson said "stars (would) have to align" for that to happen. 

Still, practicing is a great sign.

Darby was carted off the field in the second quarter of the opener against Washington with a pretty gruesome-looking ankle injury. It looked like his season was over. But the Eagles put a "4-6 week" label on the injury and there's a reason they didn't put him on IR. 

The injury was a dislocated ankle that didn't need surgery. That last time he spoke to reporters, in mid-September, Darby was confident he'd return in 4-6 weeks. 

So what would Darby have to show to play this week? 

"Obviously with the time off, there's a lot of things that are involved, conditioning No. 1," Pederson said. "That's probably the most important thing. How sore does he get during the week? And by no means do I want to rush him back and just say 'hey, we said this is the week, let's go play.' There's a lot of factors that have to be sort of right, stars have to align for him to be ready to go. But this week will be good just to get back and begin that process of practice and getting that conditioning back."

Darby's return to practice isn't the only good news on Thursday. Jordan Hicks (ankle) and Wendell Smallwood (knee) will also practice. 

Hicks left last week's game early with that ankle injury but Pederson said Hicks is "fine " and there "should be no issues."  

Smallwood has missed the last two games with a knee injury he suffered in LA against the Chargers. Pederson said Smallwood will be limited to start the week but they'll ramp it up as the week goes on.