The punt was short, nowhere near Corey Clement as he waited inside the Eagles’ 20. But new teammate Ryan Lewis, running toward Clement, down the Jets’ sideline, had his back to it. Clement yelled and pointed as the ball hit the turf and seemed to chase Lewis.
Replays didn’t really show if the ball made contact with Lewis or not. Lewis wasn’t sure. But Clement thought it had. He tried to bat it -- bad idea -- as he collided with Jets gunner Trenton Cannon. The Jets recovered and scored their only points of the day on the next play, a 19-yard end-around by Vyncint Smith.
Fortunately for the Eagles, the miscue was of little consequence in a 31-6 victory, the first game this season in which they avoided trailing by double digits.
Clement was back there because Darren Sproles earlier suffered a quad injury. It was Clement’s first attempt at a punt return this season. He returned three kickoffs in the loss to Atlanta -- which has a good chance to go down as the Eagles’ worst loss of the season, when the books are closed -- and fumbled away one of them. For the next Jets punt Sunday, he was replaced by Nelson Agholor.
“I thought it hit his foot. That’s about it, really. ... It’s football. From the angle I had, I couldn’t really tell if it hit him or not,” said Clement, a standout running back as a 2017 rookie who doesn’t have a rushing attempt this season. “Any other football player would have dove on it, tried to do the same thing.”
Lewis, a cornerback, joined the Eagles’ practice squad Oct. 1 and was promoted to the active roster Friday, with tight end Alex Ellis being waived/injured, a reflection of the team’s dire cornerback injury situation. Cre’Von LeBlanc is on IR, Jalen Mills is on PUP, Avonte Maddox is wearing a neck brace and has a concussion, and Ronald Darby will be out a while longer with a hamstring.
Sidney Jones also has a hamstring injury -- Jones was active Sunday but was listed as not having played. He presumably was available only in an emergency. For once, no Eagles cornerbacks were injured. We think.
“Honestly, I wasn’t too sure,” if the ball made contact, Lewis said. “It’s a shame it had to happen like that. We’ll just go to the film and find out.”
This was Lewis’s 11th NFL game -- after three this year for the Colts and seven last season with the Bills.
Sproles, by the way, took over fifth place in all-time NFL all-purpose yards early in the game, surpassing former Raider and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown.
Orlando Scandrick’s first Eagles game was memorable. He sacked Jets quarterback Luke Falk twice, and the second time Scandrick wrestled the ball away as Falk fell, then Scandrick ran it 44 yards for his second career NFL touchdown, in 141 games across 12 seasons.
“I’m so happy to be back. Like I said [during the week], it was, like, a humbling experience to be home for those four weeks,” Scandrick said.
His previous NFL touchdown came on Dec. 5, 2010, an interception return against the Colts’ Peyton Manning, on behalf of Dallas, where Scandrick played from 2008 to 2017.
This was his first two-sack game. Scandrick said he enjoyed being part of a defensive group Sunday that was “flying around, enjoying each other.”
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said he was appealing his $28,075 league fine for an unpenalized helmet-first hit in the Green Bay game.
“I ran a flat route, my last catch of the game last week, caught the ball, was running up the sideline, was close to out of bounds. They said I led with my head on the guy at the sideline," Ertz said.
"I was shocked that I got the phone call that I was fined. I’m definitely appealing. [Monday] is the appeal process. I’m looking forward to getting some clarity on that. It’s never fun to give away that much money for something that, in my opinion, wasn’t deserved. We’ll see what their opinion is.”
Eagles Rudy Ford and Derek Barnett were also fined $28,075 apiece for helmet-contact hits.