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NOTEBOOK: Lions add Ertz to practice squad, role still TBD

Head coach Dan Campbell is taking a wait-and-see approach with new tight end Zach Ertz and his availability for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Campbell said Wednesday he is not sure what kind of role – if any – Ertz will have come Sunday. It will really depend on how quickly he can learn the scheme and the playbook and how that looks in practice the next three days.

"I know he's in shape. I talked to him the other day," Campbell said. "He understands we're just going to gauge this and see where we're at. So, he'll be out here. He's played at a high level. There are things that he does well and it's just a matter, is this the week to use him."

The Lions signed Ertz to their practice squad this week after No. 2 tight end Brock Wright suffered a forearm injury in last week's win over Tampa Bay. Wright was placed on Reserve/Injured.

Sam LaPorta has played the last two weeks despite suffering a hyperextension and bone bruise Week 18 vs. Minnesota. Anthony Firkser is the only other tight end on the Lions' 53-man roster.

Ertz, 33, is a three-time Pro Bowler and has 709 career receptions for 7,434 yards and 46 touchdowns over his 11-year career in Philadelphia and Arizona, where he worked with current Lions tight ends coach Steve Heiden.

"I have no expectations coming in or what my role will be," Ertz said Wednesday. "I don't expect anything handed to me. I want to earn whatever reps I get and I'm not here to start any drama. I'm just here to support the guys however I can."

Ertz said he's excited to be in Detroit, is going to see how practice goes Thursday and Friday, and then go from there.


Detroit Lions veteran center Frank Ragnow has grown accustomed to playing through pain. It's just part of the daily routine for him now. Between the inoperable toe injury he's had to play through for a couple years to now also dealing with back and knee injuries, Ragnow is no stranger to the training room.

But after playing through pain to not miss a snap in Detroit's Divisional Round win over Tampa Bay, Ragnow said he's ready to go for Championship week.

"I feel pretty good," he said Wednesday. "Better than I expected. Stiff, but rehabbing and feeling pretty good."

That's obviously great news for a Detroit offensive line that will already be down one starter in left guard Jonah Jackson (knee) and facing a very good defensive front in San Francisco.


There are three players in the NFL who have at least 100 total pressures on the season counting the regular season and the playoffs. Detroit's Aidan Hutchinson tops the list with 118, followed by Dallas' Micah Parsons (106) and San Francisco's Nick Bosa (102).

With the Lions and 49ers set to square off Sunday in Santa Clara, Detroit's second-year phenom and the 49ers' veteran All Pro are front and center this week. Hutchinson and Bosa are No. 1 and No. 2 this season in quarterback hits with Hutchinson at 28 and Bosa at 26.


Ragnow is a finalist for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award.

The other finalists are Falcons defensive lineman Calais Campbell, Bills safety Damar Hamlin, Commanders tackle Charles Leno and Vikings defensive lineman Harrison Phillips.

The NFLPA will donate $10,000 to each player's foundation or the charity of their choice. The winner, who will be announced Feb. 7, will receive an additional $100,000 donation.

Speaking of donations, Ragnow said Lions fans donated more than $20k to his Rags Remembered Foundation following his gritty performance on Sunday.

"It speaks to how great this community is and how supportive these fans are," Ragnow said Wednesday.

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