Super Bowl winner Zach Ertz joins the Detroit Lions, who have room at tight end before the NFC final game.

With their tight end depth decimated by injuries, the Detroit Lions are bringing in a seasoned player with Super Bowl experience.

A day after Brock Wright departed the Lions’ divisional round playoff victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a forearm injury, the team added veteran tight end Zach Ertz to its roster.

Wright is anticipated to miss this week’s NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Wright caught a crucial 29-yard pass on the Lions’ touchdown drive in the third quarter on Sunday. Wright departed the locker room with his arm in a sling.

At Ford Field in the 2021 season, Zach Ertz of the Arizona Cardinals tries to catch a ball against the Lions.
Starting tight end Sam LaPorta has played through a hyperextended knee for the past two weeks, while No. 3 tight end James Mitchell was placed on injured reserve earlier this month after he sustained a hand injury during practice that required surgery.

With nine catches on Sunday, LaPorta set a rookie tight end NFL playoff record.

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With the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, Ertz participated in 11 NFL seasons. He played in three Pro Bowls for the Philadelphia Eagles, was a member of the team that won the 2017 Super Bowl against New England, and coached tight ends for the current Lions, Steve Heiden, while he was in Arizona.

Once LaPorta appeared to have averted a serious injury in a Week 18 victory against the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions entertained the idea of signing Ertz, but ultimately decided against it.

The Lions utilized practice squad players Jason Cabinda at fullback and Anthony Firkser at tight end as backups after Mitchell was hurt during practice that week.

On Sunday, December 3, 2023, in New Orleans, the Lions defeated the Saints 33-28. During the second half of the game, Lions tight end Brock Wright receives a pass.
Given his familiarity with Heiden, Ertz, 33, could make an impact as soon as this week. He brings more demonstrated experience as a pass catcher and in big games than either of the Lions backup options.

In Super Bowl LII, he finished as the second-leading receiver for the Eagles with seven catches for 67 yards. He has 709 catches for 7,434 yards in his career. In seven games with the Cardinals, he caught 27 catches for 187 yards and one touchdown before requesting his release early in the season.

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Wright and left guard Jonah Jackson, who exited the Bucs game due to a knee injury, are the other players that Lions coach Dan Campbell said are unlikely to play against the 49ers on Sunday.

After starting three games during the regular season, Kayode Awosika ended Sunday’s game at left guard. If Jackson is unable to play, Awosika would probably start at that position against the 49ers.


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