Arizona Cardinals got it wrong by parting ways with Corey Clement

The veteran running back certainly earned the right to be a part of the Arizona Cardinals offensive attack in 2023.
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages

A handful of individuals stood out last Saturday afternoon during the preseason finale for the Arizona Cardinals. Corey Clement, a veteran who was vying for playing time at running back, was especially effective. Based on Clement's strong showing, many believed that the Cards' search to find a complement for starter James Conner had finally come to an end.

On Tuesday, Arizona's front office surprised their fanbase by cutting ties with the 28-year-old Clement. Apparently, the coaching staff is comfortable rolling with second-year pro Keaontay Ingram as the top backup for Conner. Even so, the smart move would have been to keep an experienced and talented player like Clement around as insurance.

This past weekend, during the Redbirds' 18-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Clement rushed for 79 yards on just 14 carries. That averages out to an impressive 5.6 yards per attempt. By comparison, Ingram carried the rock four times for 20 yards during the triumph over the Vikes.

Also joining Clement on Arizona's cut list was Ty'Son Williams, a third-year running back who was signed to the team's practice squad last October. Stevie Scott, a 23-year-old ball-carrier out of the USFL, was released by the Cards franchise for the second time in a week.

Arizona Cardinals remain thin at running back following the NFL's final cutdown day

At the moment, Conner, Ingram and undrafted free agent Emari Demercado are the only three backs on the Cardinals roster. It would be surprising, actually, if general manager Monti Ossenfort didn't acquire a reinforcement for the group sometime before opening day. In fact, there's an intriguing ball-carrier still looking for work (with Cards connections no less) who'd be a fantastic addition.

Kareem Hunt, a Pro Bowl performer back in 2017, has spent the last four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Coincidentally, Arizona offensive coordinator Drew Petzing was an assistant with the Browns for three of those campaigns. Is there any chance that Petzing could convince the 28-year-old Hunt to bring his talents to the desert?

We're now less than two weeks away from the season-opener, and the Cardinals could still use some help at running back. One would have to believe that Ossenfort and company have some ideas about what to do with the position. Not including Clement in the plan could prove to be a major mistake in the long run.


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