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Lions Bolster Tight End Depth, Sign Veteran Zach Ertz Ahead of NFC Championship Game

The Detroit Lions have secured a deal with veteran tight end Zach Ertz to fortify their tight end depth ahead of the NFC Championship Game, according to a source confirmed by ESPN. This move follows an injury to Lions tight end Brock Wright, who suffered a forearm injury in the team’s divisional round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wright’s injury left Sam LaPorta as the sole healthy tight end on the Lions’ roster, prompting the team to explore options to bolster the position. Lions coach Dan Campbell expressed concern about Wright’s availability for the upcoming NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

In addition to the tight end situation, the Lions will likely be without starting guard Jonah Jackson for the NFC Championship Game. Jackson underwent surgery for a slight meniscus tear, with sources indicating that he is expected to miss the game but could potentially return for the Super Bowl if the Lions advance.

Zach Ertz, 33, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in November. His addition to the Lions is expected to involve signing with the practice squad and being elevated for the NFC title game, as reported by NFL Network. Ertz, a former Pro Bowl tight end, has a notable connection with the Lions’ tight ends coach Steve Heiden, who served as his position coach with the Cardinals in 2021 and 2022.

Ertz, a key contributor to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory, brings experience and playmaking ability to the Lions’ tight end group. He had been on injured reserve since October 24, 2023, with a quad strain at the time of his release by the Cardinals.

With 709 career catches for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns over 11 seasons, Ertz adds a seasoned presence to the Lions as they prepare for a crucial matchup in the NFC Championship Game. The move reflects the team’s proactive approach to addressing roster needs and enhancing their chances of success in the postseason.

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