49ers

How Cardinals' trade for Ertz affects 49ers, NFC West race

49ers

The Arizona Cardinals made a significant trade on Friday, acquiring Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz just five days after losing starter Maxx Williams to injury in their Week 5 win over the 49ers. Arizona sent cornerback Tay Gowan and a fifth-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Ertz.

Williams was carted off the field after a tackle from Emmanuel Moseley in Sunday's game at State Farm Stadium. Ertz now likely will serve as the Cardinals' starting tight end, as Arizona clearly intends on competing for a championship this season.

This doesn't have much effect on what already are long division odds for the 49ers, who currently sit in last place in the NFC West at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in division play.

Arizona (5-0) remains the NFL's last unbeaten squad, and the Los Angeles Rams only blemish at 4-1 is against the pesky Cardinals.

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Ertz won't be eligible to play for the Cardinals this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, but should be familiar enough with the playbook when the 49ers take on Arizona for the second time this season on Nov. 7 at Levi's Stadium.

The 49ers have not fallen completely out of contention, but face an uphill climb to catch the Cardinals and Rams atop the NFC West.

That climb just got a little steeper Friday.

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