Training Camp was a disappointing time of the year for Tight End Zach Ertz. An injury meant that he missed all four pre-season games and had to undergo surgery at the start of August. He missed valuable chemistry building time with Sam Bradford and went into the season opener unsure if he would play and having not tackled/taken a hit since his last regular season game.
Ertz was said to be a gametime decision, but when pictures emerged of him warming up at the Georgia Dome, hopes began to rise..and rightly so. Zach Ertz stepping onto the field was a pleasant surprise..Ertz then having a huge game and sending the Eagles into a temporary lead late on? One of the few positives from the week one loss.
But just how much did Ertz accomplish? Well, bearing in mind he hasn’t caught a Sam Bradford game pass until this point, he caught three passes and received for 46 yards. One of those throws went for a huge 21 yard gain which moved the Eagles into position to take the lead of the game.
Not only that, but he almost doubled Brent Celek’s snap count. Celek partook in 27 snaps whilst Ertz was present in 52. Again, coming off of injury, you think he would be eased back into the swing of things..but Ertz was thrust into the deep end and almost asserted his authority over the number one tight end spot.
For a player to miss so much time in an Offense this complex, you kind of expect a slow increase in reps and performance as time goes on and Ertz can once again familiarise himself with his new teammates and his link with Bradford. However, like we mentioned at OTA’s #ErtzFord is a thing. The two linked supremely well on their three pass completions. It’s an encouraging sign for the future, Ertz wasn’t said to be 100% but played like it. He came out swinging and whilst he was a tad slow on the blocking side of things..once he settled down he was a force to be reckoned with.
There wasn’t a lot to be positive about after Monday Night, but the progress of one of the Eagles biggest prospects is certainly one of them.