In the two games since telling Howie Roseman the Eagles didn’t need to look outside the building for a new running back, Corey Clement has averaged 2.58 yards per carry.
In the Giants game, he carried the ball 11 times for 43 yards and a touchdown. And last week against Carolina, he had eight carries for just six yards.
So what’s the problem?
“I don’t even know how to answer that, to be honest,” Clement said Thursday before pausing.
“Do we want more production out of us? Yes. At the same time, it’s the NFL. You get what you get sometimes. You face good defensive fronts. Not every game plan goes as planned. I’m worried about what the Jacksonville Jaguars can do. I’m worried about that week and that week only.”
It’s time for the Eagles to find a way to get Clement more involved.
And it’s time to do that this week.
With Tuesday’s trade deadline looming, the Eagles are about to face the NFL’s 25th-ranked rush defense. Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams have one more chance to prove to Roseman that he doesn’t need to trade for a running back. This group has enough ability; the Eagles just have to let them show it.
“Of course, we want the ball as many times as we possibly can,” Clement said. “But it’s not up to us. We follow the system we’re part of. When our number is called, we try to make the most of it. [The run game] does need to become more prevalent in this offense to make it more balanced, but at the same time, it’s all ran by the head man upstairs.”
In this case, the man upstairs is Doug Pederson. He needs to commit to sticking with the run a little more to find some balance. It would behoove Pederson and running backs coach Duce Staley to get Clement more involved.
Clement said he’s now 100 percent healed from that quad injury that hampered him earlier in the season, but it seems like he’s been playing second fiddle to Smallwood, who wasn’t even supposed to make this team but has played fairly well.
Smallwood has started the last two games since Jay Ajayi went down for the season and has 27 carries to Clement’s 19.
“I would love a bigger role,” Clement said. “I’m doing my job, coming to practice every day, working hard. And with the opportunities I do get, I make the most of them.”
As an undrafted rookie last season, Clement ended up having a huge season and even played a big role in Super Bowl LII. Expectations for Year 2 were high, but he had that quad injury and hasn’t really gotten going through seven games. In five games played, he has just 161 yards on 46 rushing attempts and has 116 more on 13 catches. Not the jump everyone expected, especially after we all assumed he’d have an expanded role. But there’s still time.
Clement said he’s not even looking at this game as his last shot to prove to everyone these running backs can do it; he’s just worried about a win. The two might go hand in hand.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.