Dave Zangaro

Eagles stock up, stock down after preseason loss to Ravens

Eagles stock up, stock down after preseason loss to Ravens

We’ll never know what would have happened in the last 11:43 of this game. Would the Ravens still have won their 16th straight preseason game? Would Clayton Thorson have ruined John Harbaugh’s dorky streak? 

We’ll never know. 

What we do know is we have just one more preseason game before the games start counting and that’s something to get excited about. 

In the meantime, here’s our latest Eagles stock watch: 

Stock up

Josh McCown 

McCown was retired this time last week. It didn’t look like he came out of retirement until his sixth snap on Thursday, but he eventually looked very good. The 40-year-old eventually finished with an impressive stat line: 17/24, 192 yards, 2 TDs, passer rating of 122.2. After so much angst about about the Eagles’ backup quarterback spot, everyone can relax. 

JJ Arcega-Whiteside 

This was the breakout game we were waiting on from Arcega-Whiteside. He had eight catches for 104 yards, which included a 20-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. His most impressive catch was actually a shoestring grab. He’s the first Eagles receiver to go over 100 yards in a preseason game since Jordan Matthews in 2014. 

L.J. Fort 

While Fort is the linebacker to come off the field in the Eagles’ nickel package, he made some plays Thursday night. He had four tackles and 2 TFLs. We could have also included rookie LB T.J. Edwards, who led the team with seven tackles. 

Corey Clement 

The stat line wasn’t tremendous — seven carries for 25 yards — but Clement looked pretty good, especially on a 3rd-and-6 run that he took right for 11 yards. Most importantly, Clement showed no signs of the injury that ended his 2018 season early. 

Greg Ward 

Another solid performance for Ward, who had four catches for 45 yards as he continues to push for a roster spot. Mack Hollins had a pedestrian two catches for 15 yards and has been shaky in practice, but might still have the advantage because of special teams ability. But Ward has this: If one of the outside receivers gets hurt this year, Arcega-Whiteside will step in. Ward could be the backup slot guy. 

Stock down

Jeremiah McKinnon 

The 26-year-old cornerback gave up two touchdowns on Thursday night. Based on the depth chart, McKinnon isn’t going to make the Eagles’ roster, so he’s playing for tape at this point. He didn’t help his cause against Baltimore. 

Cody Kessler 

There was a time not long ago when we thought Kessler would go into the season as the No. 2. Those days are long gone. Kessler was brutal on Friday. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 34 yards. His worst play came on a 4th-and-3 on the opening drive when he took an 8-yard sack. Just can’t take a sack there and a veteran should know better. 

Jake Elliott 

The Eagles’ kicker missed a 41-yard field goal wide left. He’s now 2-for-2 this season. His two makes have come from 50-plus, but his two misses are from 41 and 40. It’s great that Elliott can drill long kicks, but he needs to be more consistent in the short/midrange game. 

Boston Scott

Scott was once thought to be the running back/returner to fill the Darren Sproles void and then Darren Sproles came back to fill the Darren Sproles void. Since then, Scott has been a forgotten man. On Thursday, he returned four kickoffs for an average of 21.5 yards per return. He didn’t make it to the 25-yard line on any of his returns. 

Preseason football

This game, in general, was brutal. The penalties got completely out of hand. There were 24 total penalties for 203 yards … and they didn’t even play the final 11:43! 

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Eagle Eye podcast: Highlights, lowlights and lightning

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USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: Highlights, lowlights and lightning

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro — appalled this preseason game wasn’t finished — talk about Carson Wentz’s preseason off. 

Also, Josh McCown played well in his return from retirement. Good signs from Rodney McLeod and Corey Clement as they play for the first time since their respective injuries. 

And a bunch of positives and negatives from the game against the Ravens. 

• No Carson this preseason 
• Old Man McCown can play 
• McLeod and Clement return 
• Worried about these injuries?  
• Arcega-Whiteside has a breakout game
• Other positives from the game
• Other negatives from the game 
• Lightning does strike twice 

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Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

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Eagles' Corey Clement happy to get tackled, turn page on injury

Eagles' Corey Clement happy to get tackled, turn page on injury

It didn’t take Corey Clement very long on Thursday night to officially put his knee injury in his rearview. 

In his first game action since he suffered that season-ender last December, Clement took a handoff — on the first play of Thursday’s 26-15 loss to the Ravens —from Cody Kessler. He barreled ahead for a gain of four yards before he was brought down by three Ravens tacklers. 

Then he popped right back up. 

Phew. 

“It’s a sense of relief,” Clement said. “All right, I’m back. Football. Let’s get to it. No more thinking out here. Just play the game like you know how to do. No more thinking about your knee or whatever the case may be.

“I threw it out the window. I’m good.” 

It’s not that Clement, 24, was necessarily worried about how his right knee would hold up on Thursday night. Heck, he wasn’t even wearing a knee brace. But, as he explained, every player coming off a major injury has a little nervousness associated with getting hit for the first time. Once it happened, though, Clement was happy to put all this injury business behind him. 

Clement’s stat line wasn’t eye-popping on Thursday; he had seven carries for 25 yards. But he looked healthy, he looked strong, he looked like the player who carved out a role for the Eagles in 2017 and could again in 2019. 

As Doug Pederson explained, the Eagles had seen enough of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders in the first two preseason games. Thursday was “Corey's time to play” because the coaching staff hadn’t seen enough of him yet. Clement’s recovery has meant a plan that eased him back into action. He finally got some first-team reps this week in preparation for Thursday’s game. 

Clement knew Thursday was a chance to prove to his coaches that he’s healthy and ready to contribute. 

“Yeah, for sure,” Clement said. “I’m sure they wanted to see it, which is why they put me out there. I wasn’t shying away from anything. If anything, you have to step up when the opportunity presents itself. I’m definitely blessed and fortunate to be able to play this game. You know, coming back from an injury that put me out so I’m happy to be out here and showing what I can still do.”

If the Eagles keep four running backs this season, it’ll likely be Howard, Sanders, Clement and Darren Sproles. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Clement’s job isn’t in danger. 

Now, Clement is fighting for playing time and a role within the offense. 

He took a big step toward that on Thursday night. 

“It felt good,” he said. “Seeing what the guys have been going through. It’s good to be back in the mix, so I could feel like they’ve been feeling, so I don’t feel like I’m just here collecting dust.”

If there was any dust, it got knocked off of him early. And then he got back up. 

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