His addition comes after Lions tight end Brock Wright sustained a forearm injury in Detroit’s 31-23 divisional round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wright’s injury left Sam LaPorta as the only healthy tight end on the Lions’ roster, and coach Dan Campbell said it didn’t “look good” for Wright’s availability for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Lions also will likely be without starting guard Jonah Jackson for the game against the 49ers. Jackson underwent surgery for a slight meniscus tear, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday. Jackson is expected to miss the NFC title game but could be back for the Super Bowl if the Lions advance, the source said.
Ertz is expected to sign with the Lions’ practice squad and then be elevated for the NFC title game, according to NFL Network, which first reported the news of the agreement.
Ertz, 33, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in November. Former teammate J.J. Watt wrote on social media that Ertz requested to be released so he could sign with a contender and “make a run at his 2nd Super Bowl ring.”
Ertz was traded to Arizona from Philadelphia in October 2021. Steve Heiden, the Lions’ tight ends coach, was Ertz’s position coach with the Cardinals in 2021 and ’22.
Ertz had been on injured reserve since Oct. 24 with a quad strain at the time of his release.
He returned from an ACL and MCL injury suffered in Week 10 last season to play in the 2023 season opener. He played in seven games this season, with 27 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Ertz has 709 catches for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns in 11 seasons.