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While he gave it a shot, Zach Ertz will not suit up for the NFC championship game. The Detroit Lions' newly acquired tight end will not be activated for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, per ESPN. Detroit signed Ertz to its practice squad on Monday to shore up its banged-up tight end position. 

The three-time Pro Bowler started his season with the Cardinals, but he was cut in late November after he requested his release. Ertz had been a free agent since then, which is why he was available to sign with the Lions. 

Head coach Dan Campbell was noncommital on Wednesday when he asked if Ertz would be promoted to the active roster for the NFC title game. "It's just a matter of, 'Is this the week to use him?'" Campbell added, via WXYZ Detroit.

The Lions were in the market for some tight end help after losing Brock Wright to a forearm injury during Sunday's 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wright, who is the No. 2 tight end on the roster, caught one big pass for 29 yards in the win. Not only is Wright banged up, but Sam LaPorta has also been dealing with an injury. The Lions' rookie star hyperextended his left knee in Week 18 and he's been wearing a brace ever since. 

This was a situation where there didn't seem to be any downside for the Lions. Even if he's not activated, Ertz still brings a wealth of postseason experience with him. The veteran tight end has been to the playoffs a total of five times in his career, including a 2017 season where he won a Super Bowl with the Eagles. During that postseason, Ertz caught 18 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. 

Zach Ertz
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During the 2023 season, Ertz played in seven games with the Cardinals before suffering a quad injury that led Arizona to place him on injured reserve. Before suffering the injury, Ertz caught 27 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. 

Although he only played in seven games for the Cardinals, one of his biggest games of the year actually came against the 49ers. Back in Week 4, Ertz caught six passes for 53 yards in a game that the 49ers would win 35-16.