Zach Ertz knew he wasn’t going to lose his job because of an injury. Still …

“Everyone knows the story about Wally Pipp,.” Ertz said Monday. “So, I mean, I don’t think that was going to happen, but at the same time, everyone understands the possibility in this league.”

Wally Pipp? The guy who lost his job to Lou Gehrig?

"I think every coach tells the story about Wally Pipp," Ertz said with a laugh.

His point is he's thrilled to be back.

Ertz, who missed the Eagles’ last two games with a displaced rib suffering on opening day, said he was medically cleared Monday morning. The tight end practiced Monday and plans to play when the undefeated Eagles return from their bye with a game against the Lions in Detroit on Sunday.

“Got an MRI this morning, they saw what they needed to see,” Ertz said. “The picture that came back today was great and everybody’s really happy with where it is.

“I’m very excited. Obviously we took our time with it, I’m being very cautious with it. But I’m 100 percent.

“Obviously with the bye week being when it was, it was a big help for me and a lot of the guys that were banged up love it. I’m ready to go on Sunday.”


Cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who’s been out since the opener with a hamstring injury, and running back Ryan Mathews, who’s been limited the last two games with an ankle injury, both also pronounced themselves healthy and ready for the Lions.

The return of Ertz is huge, since he and Carson Wentz quickly developed a terrific chemistry in the opener, when Ertz had six receptions for 58 yards, including a critical fourth-down conversion.

Ertz had 169 catches for 2,204 yards and nine touchdowns in his first three seasons. He ranks 17th in catches and 22nd in yards among all tight ends in NFL history in his first three seasons.

Ertz missed only one game – Detroit last year with a concussion – in his first three seasons. He missed wins over the Bears and Steelers in September.

“It was tough,” Ertz said. “Honestly, every day not being out there at practice, not being out there in games, it killed me. Not being able travel to Chicago killed me. It was really tough.

“It’s tough not being out there with your guys, your brothers. You work so hard. At the end of the day it was only two games. So I’m excited about the rest of the season, and the team played well and that’s all that matters.”