Adding a three-time NFL Finals tight end Zach Ertz will offer indispensable depth.

Adding a three-time NFL Finals tight end Zach Ertz will offer indispensable depth.

In the season finale, when tight end Sam LaPorta experienced a knee injury, the Detroit Lions decided not to add depth at the position.

After sustaining a season-ending injury during practice, James Mitchell and Brock Wright fracturing his forearm in Sunday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers compelled the team to acquire replacements.

Former three-time Super Bowler Zach Ertz, whom the team will initially have on its practice squad, possesses these qualities.

The NFL Network initially reported on the development. A source for the team with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed to the Detroit News the agreement.

In Detroit, Ertz, whose contract via the Arizona Cardinals was mutually agreed to be terminated in late November, will get back together with former position instructor Steve Heiden.

The then-32-year-old Ertz accumulated 47 receptions for 406 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games while collaborating with the team the previous year.

The 12-year veteran has intercepted 709 passes for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career.

He recorded seven receptions for 67 yards and a score in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots.

The Detroit Lions have reached an agreement with three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Zach Ertz, according to information obtained by The Associated Press on Monday evening.

The individual, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that the team has not yet officially announced the signing.

Six years ago, in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl victory over New England, Ertz caught the game-winning touchdown.

In 2018, he established a new record for most catches by a tight end in a single season with 116. After the Eagles traded Ertz to Arizona during the 2021 season, he requested his release from the Cardinals earlier this season.

Following Brock Wright’s withdrawal from Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay due to a forearm injury, the Lions lacked depth at the tight end position beyond rookie Sam LaPorta.

One week after James Mitchell was placed on injured reserve, this occurred. Aside from LaPorta, only Anthony Firkser persisted in the defensive room.

Zach Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowl tight end, signed with the Lions before Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium against the 49ers, according to sources cited by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Monday morning.

“Plans to possibly elevate him” for the Sunday big game, Pelissero added. Ertz will begin on the practice squad.

Brock Wright suffered a forearm injury on Sunday, which kept him in a sling following the Lions’ divisional playoff round victory over the Buccaneers from Tampa Bay. As a result, the Lions added depth at the tight end.

Left wing Due to a knee injury, Jonah Jackson was substituted early in the game. Although the prognosis for both players’ availability in Sunday’s championship match in Santa Clara is not particularly bright, Lions head coach Dan Campbell is maintaining a positive outlook.

Wright’s crucial plays highlighted Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay, but he remained inactive in the final minute of the game. Due to an adductor injury, he also missed the last three matches of the regular season.

Early in the second half of Sunday, Jackson, who lost five games during the regular season due to knee or wrist injuries, departed. Undoubtedly, the signing of Ertz aids in that regard.

Currently, Detroit’s 53-man roster lists only one tight end. Notable rookie Sam LaPorta, in his second game since recovering from a knee injury, caught a total of nine passes for 65 yards on Sunday.

Following Detroit’s Divisional Round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where No. 2 Brock Wright experienced a forearm injury, the Lions required assistance in the tight end room.

Wright hauled in a crucial third-and-one pass to Jared Goff on Sunday, collecting it for 29 yards as a team-leading reception. It did not “look real good” for Wright’s fitness against the Niners, according to coach Dan Campbell following the game.

Due to the multitude of injuries, the Lions had to find depth in the TE room. A knowledgeable veteran is about the best addition a team could hope for at this juncture.

Steve Heiden, the former tight ends coach for Arizona, reunites with Ertz in Detroit, which ought to facilitate the veteran’s acclimatization in time for Sunday’s contest.