Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Ertz clears concussion protocol, coach says
Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Ertz scores a touchdown on a pass from Carson Went during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
PHILADELPHIA — After a mix up last week, Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson stated with certainty Wednesday tight end Zach Ertz has cleared concussion protocol and will practice in full this week.
“He’s good to go,” Pederson said.
Ertz, the Eagles’ receptions leader, missed Sunday’s win over the Rams. He suffered his head injury in the second half of a loss to the Seahawks on Dec. 3, exiting the game after slamming his head into the ground at CenturyLink Field as he attempted to secure a diving catch.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end spent last week with the team in California as he worked through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Thursday in Anaheim, Ertz stepped onto the Eagles’ makeshift practice field at Angel Stadium to participate in warmups and light individual drills. The team tweeted then that Ertz had passed through concussion protocol, but later corrected itself, saying Ertz was only allowed to participate in non-contact drills and still had hurdles to clear before a full return to the field.
Ertz warmed up on the field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday but did not suit up for the game against the Rams. His backups filled in well, though. Trey Burton hauled in five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns, while Brent Celek’s lone reception resulted in a five-yard score.
Despite the production from his understudies, Ertz’s return should offer a boost to an 11-2 Eagles team searching for optimism after losing MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz to a season-ending ACL tear Sunday.
Ertz and the NFC East champion Birds will play at the Giants on Sunday and would clinch a first-round bye with a victory.
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