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Report: Zach Ertz played through fractured rib to put Eagles in NFC East driver's seat

Jack Baer
Writer

If you thought the Philadelphia Eagles’ pivotal Week 16 win over the Dallas Cowboys was shocking, just wait until you hear what Carson Wentz’s top receiver was dealing with.

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Star tight end Zach Ertz suffered a rib fracture in the first quarter of Sunday’s 17-9 winper NFL.comAfter going to the locker room, he returned to the game and still managed to play in 59 of the Eagles' 72 offensive snaps.

Ertz finished the game with four catches and 28 yards on six targets.

“He took the shot there in the first half. There is a rib that has been affected,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Monday, per NFL.com. “I am waiting, from our doctors, a couple more tests. We'll all see later today. Should have something more tomorrow or Thursday.”

How did the Eagles win with an injured Zach Ertz?

With Ertz limited, it was second-year tight end Dallas Goedert who stepped up to take Ertz’s role as the primary target in the Eagles’ passing attack. The former second-rounder — whom you might remember was drafted with the pick that David Akers used to troll the entire city of Dallas in 2018 — posted nine catches, 91 receiving yards and a touchdown on 12 targets.

Rookie running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. also pitched in with 148 combined receiving yards. Sanders’ 79 yards and touchdown on the ground also kept the Eagles’ offense moving as the Cowboys completely sputtered on offense.

Still, Ertz contributed to the win, and that has put the Eagles in an enviable position in the NFC East race.

Zach Ertz played through the pain on Sunday against the Cowboys. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

What about Ertz going forward?

Per NFL.com, Ertz is still undergoing tests to determine the severity of the fracture and are reportedly in “wait-and-see mode” to see if he’ll have to miss any games.

The Eagles can clinch the NFC East with a win over the New York Giants or a Cowboys loss against the Washington Redskins next Sunday. If they make the playoffs, they’ll have another game a week later at home against the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers or Minnesota Vikings.

Obviously, Ertz playing would be helpful for all of those games, but the good news is the Eagles will still have one of the NFL’s best No. 2 tight ends in Goedert if Ertz can’t play.

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