Instant analysis: Zach Ertz closing in on return to the Eagles offense

NFL: DEC 09 Giants at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 09: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) watches the defense during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 09, 2019 a Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire)

It appears the Zach Ertz saga isn’t over yet. The Philadelphia Eagles officially designated a 21-day practice window for the Tight End today, meaning he’s coming off of injured reserve and will return to the offense soon.

Zach Ertz has struggled in 2020

It’s been a dismal year for Ertz up to this point. The franchise TE campaigned for his payday after watching Travis Kelce and George Kittle secure shattering new deals, but negotiations broke down and he went public in an emotional statement.

Instead of playing harder than ever to prove Howie wrong and secure his future, Ertz looked dejected. His body language was full of shrugs and his attitude just looked off. He recorded 24 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown before picking up an injury.

This is worrying for a player who not too long ago smashed the league’s single-season receptions record for his position, surpassing Jason Witten. A player who has produced more receptions (525) than ANYONE else at his position through their first seven years. A player has done nothing but exceed expectations since being drafted by the Eagles way back in 2013.

Making matters worse is the fact that Richard Rodgers, costing a fraction of the price, has 19 catches for 244 yards and is averaging 12.8 yards per catch.

What impact will he have?

Doug Pederson did mention that their use of 11 and 12 personnel has impacted a lackluster run-game, so maybe the return of Zach Ertz will provide a boost to Miles Sanders and co. Dallas Goedert has failed to step up and make his TE1 case in the absence of Ertz, so this theoretical battle for a long-term future is far from over, despite both players having their contracts expire at the end of next season.

It’s never exactly a bad thing to see Carson Wentz get his favorite career target back and someone who has broken record after record. We just have to hope the second half of the season contrasts the first.

Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire

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