Lions get look at the-time Pro Bowl TE Ertz in practice
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions tight end Zach Ertz practiced with his new team Wednesday, potentially making the three-time Pro Bowl player available for the NFC championship game in San Francisco.
The 33-year-old Ertz agreed to a deal with Detroit earlier this week to add much-needed depth.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said he isn't sure how quickly Ertz can get up to speed to possibly be in the lineup against the 49ers on Sunday.
“I know he’s in shape," Campbell said. “I talked to him the other day. He understands we’re just going to gauge this and see where we’re at."
Record-breaking rookie tight end Sam LaPorta had only one player, Anthony Firkser, behind him on the depth chart before Ertz agreed to a deal. Backup tight ends Brock Wright and James Mitchell have been injured in each of the past two games.
Six years ago, Ertz had the go-ahead touchdown reception in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl win over New England and had an NFL single-season record for catches by a tight end with 116 during the 2018 season. Ertz was traded by the Eagles to Arizona during the 2021 season and asked for and was granted his release from the Cardinals nearly two months ago.
“He’s played at a high level,” Campbell said. “There’s things that he does well and it’s just a matter of, is this the week to use him?”
LaPorta had 86 catches in the regular season to break the rookie tight end record set by Keith Jackson in 1988 with the Eagles. The second-round pick from Iowa, who has 11 receiving touchdowns, has set league marks by a rookie tight end with eight receptions in a playoff game and 12 catches in a postseason.
The 28-year-old Firkser was on the field for 16 snaps over two playoff games in Detroit and played in two regular-season games for the Lions.
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