Clement Looks Ready for Thursday
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With Jay Ajayi done for the season with an ACL injury, it's imperative that the Eagles get Corey Clement back into the lineup as quickly as possible and it looks like that will happen on Thursday night against the struggling New York Giants.
After being estimated as a full go in Monday's walkthrough Clement was on the field Tuesday for the most important practice on a short week. Clement has not played during the Eagles' two-game losing streak after suffering a quad injury in practice before the game in Tennessee. He was active for Minnesota on Sunday but did not play.
With Ajayi set to undergo surgery on Thursday, Clement will be in the mix to be the Eagles' lead back in their committee approach barring a trade acquisition in the coming weeks.
Rumors were swirling Tuesday that Howie Roseman will make a run at trying to bring back LeSean McCoy from Buffalo with the NFL's trade deadline looming on Oct. 30. That smoke might turn to fire as the deadline approaches but the Eagles' restructure of Fletcher Cox's deal late last week had nothing to do with any potential move.
Things changed, of course, when Ajayi went down against the Vikings.
The best-case scenario for Philadelphia would be for Clement, the second-year back who is a Glassboro native, seizing his opportunity and taking the role because he's so cost-effective.
"Jay's a big part of what we do," offensive coordinator Mike Grosh admitted Tuesday. "It's an injury that will impact us here until we get the guys [Clement and Darren Sproles] back out there.
"Wendell [Smallwood] has done a really nice job, In the playing time he has gotten this far in the season, really pleased with his production. He's done a nice job. Corey's progressing with his injury and we're happy with the guys we got. We think we still have talented players that can be really good at the running back position."
In other injury news, defensive end Derek Barnett (shoulder) also returned to the practice field after missing the Eagles' Week 5 loss to the Vikings. Right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle), left tackle Jason Peters (quad) and cornerback Sidney Jones (ankle) were all participating in some form.
Those missing were Sproles (hamstring), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (calf), safety Corey Graham (hamstring) and linebackers Nate Gerry (ankle/knee) and D.J. Alexander.
Sproles hasn't played since the season opener and Ngata missed the Minnesota game while Gerry and Graham were both injured against the Vikings.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen