CARDINALS CORNER

Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz’s calf injury a thing of the past

Sep 15, 2022, 7:25 PM

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz’s start to 2022 has been an interesting one.

For starters, he’s a new dad, with he and his wife Julie welcoming Madden to the world this offseason.

But along with all the good times and dirty diapers at home, came a calf injury on the football field this training camp.

After nine days of recovery, though, Ertz was pretty much back at full speed with his sights set on a full Week 1 workload.

That was until a setback on Day 10 ruined the tight end’s trajectory back to football field.

“It was a little worse than the first one, so I had to start from scratch which was mentally extremely difficult, but my faith was a huge part of it,” Ertz said Thursday. “Having a son and going home worrying about him versus myself was a big blessing for me at the time.”

Despite the setback, Ertz managed to suit up for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The workload, however, was quite what many expected the tight end to see. When the dust settled on the 44-21 loss to the Chiefs, Ertz had just two catches (four targets) for 12 yards. He also found the end zone in the fourth quarter, although the game was well out of hand at that point.

But after getting some good run in during practice on Thursday, Ertz is confident he’ll get back to his normal workload sooner than later.

“It feels good,” Ertz said. “Obviously, it’s been awhile since I really got a Thursday practice in full pads. It was great to be out there with the guys. It was great to run around.

“I feel great now. The calf, God willing, is behind me, so really just focused on being the best I can be on Sunday and find a way to win.”

EXTRA POINT

– Ertz on the best part about being a dad:

“Everyone tells you how great it is being a father, being a dad. You can use every adjective possible but that doesn’t even do it justice in my opinion. It’s so much fun just seeing him grow each and every day, seeing how he loves his mom, seeing how Julie loves him, it’s just fun.

“It’s just a different part of life, next transition of life for me and Julie. But I also love (playing football). Not going to stop doing this at all any time soon but it’s fun to go home and have such a bigger purpose each and every day.”

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