Zach Ertz went into detail about the kidney injury that forced him to miss the Eagles’ season finale, but said a rapid recovery allowed him to be cleared in time to play in Sunday’s playoff game against the Seahawks.
The Eagles tight end initially got injured in the Eagles’ win over the Cowboys on Dec. 22. At first, it was deemed only a rib injury and he would return to finish the game. But afterward, Ertz said he noticed that there was blood in his urine.
“The medical staff rushed me to the hospital where it was determined I had a kidney injury,” Ertz said.
Ertz said he was eventually released and underwent a series of tests the following Monday. He said he was diagnosed with two non-displaced rib fractures, rib cartilage fracture and the kidney injury.
An NFL source later told The Inquirer that Ertz had lacerated his kidney and that he would be unlikely to play for weeks. The Eagles held the Pro Bowl tight end out of the season finale at the New York Giants on Dec. 28 as he wasn’t yet cleared for contact.
Ertz said after Sunday’s game that last Monday, he passed some tests so that he could increase physical activity. He said he had additional exams Friday, met with “multiple independent doctors” Saturday, and “it was determined the kidney had healed rapidly, remarkably.”
It was then decided, Ertz said, that he was under “no additional risk” and that he would be cleared for contact and be available to play against Seattle. Ertz finished with two catches for 44 yards. He clearly wasn’t playing at full strength, though.
“Monday, after the Cowboys games, I couldn’t get out of bed on my own,” Ertz said. “I knew everything this team has gone through the past six months to get where we started last April. Like I said, I knew if there was a chance I could play, I always get the best cover guys. The defense always has to account for me.”
Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert caught seven passes for 73 yards playing alongside Ertz. But with quarterback Carson Wentz sidelined early with a concussion, and backup Josh McCown limited in the red zone, the Eagles fell short and were knocked out of the playoffs in a 17-9 loss.