Corey Clement has "His Ears Pinned Back," Hopeful of Staying Healthy

Ed Kracz

Corey Clement’s NFL career appeared fast-tracked for stardom.

His rookie season with the Eagles began with a thumping tackling on special teams on the opening kickoff of 2017 against Washington and grew into a vital role on the offense that blossomed with an unforgettable Super Bowl performance.

Then his body betrayed him.

A nagging knee injury in 2018 hindered for most of the 11 games he played in before being placed on Injured Reserve. Last year, it was a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf for the season after just four games and three offensive snaps.

Clement was released in the offseason but signed back on a one-year deal for a relatively paltry sum of $825,000 shortly after the draft ended and the Eagles hadn’t added a runner to their cupboard.

“I’ve been through this rodeo once before with my knee and now my shoulder so now I’m just taking everything, really just taking everything for what it’s worth, taking my body more seriously, not as if I didn’t, but taking the extra step if I can ask more questions how can I do this better, what more can I get out of my workouts, what can I do to implement a better diet to foresee a better season?” said Clement shortly after he signed this past spring.

“I’m just ready to take those resources and see if they can help my game. You can never stop learning.”

If he can stay healthy, Clement’s signing could prove to be a boon for an Eagles backfield with six running backs on the roster, and it is Clement, at the age of 25, who is the veteran of that group.

“He’s got his ears pinned back,” said RB coach Duce Staley during a videoconference call on Friday morning. “He’s ready. He looks awesome. You can tell he’s been working. He wants to get back to the old Corey.”

Staley isn’t the only coach who has noticed Clement so far this offseason.

Special team coach Dave Fipp talked about Clements also on a Friday morning videoconference call.

“I would say when he’s healthy, he’s been a very high-level player,” said Fipp. “I know he’s really motivated right now, and we can’t wait to get him out there. I think sometimes guys go through emotional rollercoasters in this game, their roles change a lot.

“He obviously came in here, was really hungry, an undrafted free agent, a great story. He ends up making a contribution.

"I would say I think his mind’s in a really good spot. I think it’s often not talked about, but I would say just a guy’s mindset and mentality plays a big part in what you end up getting out of him on the football field. I think he’s in a really great place right now and I’m excited to watch him play and contribute.”

Exactly what Clement’s role will look like once – and if – the season begins on Sept. 13 against the Washington Football Team is easy to predict.

This will be the Miles Sanders show out of the backfield, with a liberal sprinkling of Boston Scott.

Just like he did in 2017, Clement could find his role early on to be on special teams while patiently waiting to see how it grows this time around.

“I didn’t get a lot of touches in the last two years and I’m still fresh,” said Clement. “As a running back, I always want the ball. You have that fire in your stomach.

"I always want the ball, but right now I’m going to try to dominate in all facets if I can, offense, special teams, and I want to capitalize on that. Now I’m back in the building to make that happen.”

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