The Detroit Lions have agreed to a contract with veteran tight end Zach Ertz, it has been confirmed to ESPN.
The Lions tight end was added after suffering a forearm injury in Detroit's 31-23 divisional victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wright's injury left Sam Laporta as the only healthy tight end on the Lions' roster, and coach Don Campbell said Wright's availability for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers is “not good.”
The Lions will be without starting guard Jonah Jackson for the game against the 49ers. Jackson underwent surgery for a minor meniscus tear, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Monday. Jackson is expected to miss the NFC title game, but could return to the Super Bowl if the Lions advance, the source said.
Ertz is expected to sign with the Lions' practice squad and then be promoted to the NFC title game, according to NFL Network, which first reported news of the deal.
Ertz, 33, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in November. Former teammate J.J. Watt wrote on social media that Ertz should be released so he can sign with a rival and “make a run at his 2nd Super Bowl ring.”
He won his first ring with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, when he had seven catches for 67 yards and a touchdown during a 41–33 victory over the New England Patriots.
Ertz was traded from Philadelphia to Arizona in October 2021. Steve Hayden, the Lions' tight ends coach, was Ertz's position coach with the Cardinals in 2021 and '22.
Ertz had been on injured reserve since Oct. 24 with a quad strain at the time of his release.
He returned from an ACL and MCL injury in Week 10 of last season to play in the 2023 season opener. He played in seven games this season, with 27 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Ertz had 709 catches for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns in 11 seasons.
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