EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A source close to the situation confirmed an NFL Network report Sunday that Eagles tight end and leading receiver Zach Ertz has a lacerated kidney in addition to the cracked ribs he suffered early in last week’s victory over Dallas.
On Friday Ertz was ruled out of the regular-season finale against the Giants with what the Eagles said were back and rib injuries.
David Chao, a former Chargers team physician who writes about football injuries for the San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote Sunday that the typical recovery time for a lacerated kidney is four weeks, which would effectively take Ertz out of an Eagles playoff run, with the exception of Super Bowl LIV.
Ertz, 29, has 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns. Sunday’s game against the Giants, in which the Eagles were trying to nail down the NFC East title, is the first he has missed since Dec. 10, 2017.
Ertz returned to the Dallas game after suffering the injury; presumably no one knew of the kidney damage.
“It is routine to check for associated organ damage before return,” Chao wrote. “Sometimes the kidney damage can be detected immediately. Other times it is a delayed presentation."
He said there was “no way” Ertz would have been allowed to return if the kidney injury was known. "That would be malpractice.”
Another medical source said that liver, spleen, and kidney problems are likely if the rib fracture is in a certain area. That source also said it is possible Ertz made the injury worse by playing on it.