TAMPA, Florida – Corey Clement loves responsibility. That's been clear since Day 1 as an Eagle, when Clement signed as a rookie free agent after being bypassed in the 2017 NFL Draft. On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Clement had a lot on his plate and he ate it all up in a 27-21 loss to the Buccaneers.
Pressed into a higher-than-expected workload with punt returner Darren Sproles out with a hamstring injury and running back Jay Ajayi sent to the sidelines in the early part of the first quarter with a back injury, Clement responded with an impressive production line.
- As a running back, Clement had a team-high 30 yards on six carries, including a 15-yard touchdown run over the left side to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
- In the receiving game, Clement contributed five receptions and 55 yards, with a long of 19 yards. He was targeted six times.
- Clement returned two punts for a 6.5-yard average. That number would have been much better had a 43-yard return in the first quarter not been wiped out by a Joshua Perkins illegal block penalty.
- As he always does, Clement also made an impact in kick coverage, racing downfield on Cameron Johnston's first punt and leveling Adam Humphries after a 10-yard gain.
"It's basically what I asked for," Clement said after the game. "We're not a selfish team and I'm not a selfish person. It's great to be called on in certain situations, knowing the coaching staff trusts that I'm going to get the job done. Everybody wants to do better than the next person and I think that's why we're a great team."
Clement said it was a "natural feeling" replacing Sproles in the punt return game. He nearly broke his first return, only to have it come all the way back because of the Perkins penalty.
"That was unfortunate. We just made too many mistakes today," he said. "We'll bounce back. We know that. That's the message from Coach (Doug Pederson) and from Malcolm (Jenkins), who also spoke to the team. We're 1-1. We wanted to be 2-0, but give Tampa Bay credit for the win."
Check out all of the best photos from Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 16, 2018.