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TE Zach Ertz signs with Detroit Lions ahead of NFC championship game

Zach Ertz signed with the Detroit Lions on Monday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

He will begin on the practice squad, and if he's ready ahead of the Lions' NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, the 33-year-old could be elevated to the active roster.

Ertz was most recently with the Arizona Cardinals, but he asked for his release this season and hoped to join a contender.

Detroit lost backup tight end Brock Wright to injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, and head coach Dan Campbell said Wright's availability going forward didn't look good.

"Brock, we’ll see," Campbell said after the game. "Doesn’t look real good for next week, but we’ll see.”

FILE - Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz pauses on the field prior to an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. The Arizona Cardinals released veteran tight end Zach Ertz on Thursday, Nov. 30, clearing the way for the rapidly-improving Trey McBride to assume the starting role. The 33-year-old Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has spent the past five games on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Former Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz signed with the Detroit Lions on Monday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Some of the logic behind bringing in Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowler who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles, is that he's somewhat familiar with what the Lions do.

The former Cardinal played under current Lions tight ends coach Steve Heiden last season when Heiden was coaching tight ends in Arizona. Ertz has spent his 12-year career with the Eagles (2013-2021) and Cardinals (2021-2023). He has recorded 709 catches for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns.