Eagles Wake-Up Call: Expectations For Ertz

Ertz injury typically involves 4-to-6 week recovery.

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

One day after undergoing surgery to address a rather significant groin injury, Zach Ertz walked a mile and got in a yoga session. The intensity has steadily ratcheted up from there. Since going under the knife on August 14, the third-year tight end has been pushing hard to get back on the field. That work has paid off, as there is optimism that he will return to practice this week.

Whether he plays against the Falcons is less of a sure bet.

Chip Kelly established an ambitious recovery timeline when he told reporters on the day of the surgery that he thought Ertz would be back for Week 1. Ertz will be a touch over four weeks removed from the procedure come Monday night. Typically, it takes four-to-six weeks to return from this type of injury. While the Atlanta game is within that timeframe, it also would be perfectly normal if he waited until Week 2 against Dallas or even Week 3 against the Jets to suit up.

Logic suggests that the Eagles might want to err on the conservative side here. This groin injury has been nagging Ertz for some time, and it makes sense to ensure he’s fully healed before putting him back out there. For both this season and beyond, there is a bigger picture to consider when it comes to the 24-year-old.

It won’t be easy to convince Ertz of this. He’s said to be aggressively attacking his rehab and has his sights set on a quick comeback. He only needs to look at Jason Kelce‘s efforts from a year ago for proof that it’s possible. The center returned to action five weeks after a sports hernia surgery that can take up to two months to recover from. However, he was never quite right. Kelce admirably played out the final nine games of the regular season but was far from 100 percent and never rounded into full form.

Ertz is a valuable piece on offense, but the Eagles aren’t in a position where they need to rush things. It’s early in the year, and Brent Celek and Trey Burton should be able to hold down the tight end position for a game or two.  While Kelly would love to have him in Atlanta and Ertz will fight to make that happen, it may be best for all parties to slow-play this one.


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