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Report: Detroit Lions will NOT play TE Zach Ertz vs. 49ers

Zach Ertz will not be elevated from the practice squad for the Detroit Lions’ NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Later on Saturday, the Detroit Lions are expected to elevate a player or two from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, but according to a report from ESPN, newly-acquired tight end Zach Ertz will not be one of them. Per Jeremy Fowler, Ertz worked hard to play catch up all week after signing on Wednesday, but he won’t be activated for Sunday.

That will leave the Lions relatively shorthanded at tight end, as both Brock Wright and James Mitchell have been placed on injured reserve this postseason. The Lions will only have the services of rookie Sam LaPorta and veteran Anthony Firkser at tight end available to them.

The news doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as coach Dan Campbell indicated earlier in the week that the team will have to decide if Ertz can get up to speed in time for Sunday and if his skill set was appropriate for this week’s particular game plan vs. the 49ers.

“He understands we’re just going to gauge this and see where we’re at,” Campbell said Wednesday. “So, he’ll be out here (at practice). But he’s – look, he’s played. Played at a high level. He – there’s things that he does well and it’s just a matter of, is this the week to use him.”

The Lions are expected to announce their practice squad call-ups around 4 p.m. ET. With the Lions down an offensive lineman this week (Jonah Jackson), expect at least one of the players elevated to be a lineman.

UPDATE: The Lions have elevated FB Jason Cabinda and OL Michael Schofield:

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