Cardinals TE Zach Ertz cleared for full football activity

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz has been cleared for full football activity, coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed Monday.

Ertz suffered ACL and MCL injuries in the first quarter of Week 10 last season against the Los Angeles Rams, and subsequently had surgery to repair both ligaments. Ertz said in late July that the last step for him to return to football activity would be a return-to-play test. He recently posted a check mark on his Instagram story without any context.

"He's excited," Gannon said. "He had to go check in with his surgeon and did awesome on all the testing that goes on with that."

Gannon made the trip to Houston last week to meet with his surgeon. He passed the necessary tests to return to the field and texted Gannon on his way to the airport.

The next step would be for Ertz to be activated off the physically unable to perform list and then start practicing. Gannon said he expects that to happen this week.

"He's fired up. He wants to play football," Gannon said.

In July, Ertz said it wasn't unrealistic for him to be ready by Week 1, when the Cardinals play at the Washington Commanders to start the season, and now that looks like attainable.

When Ertz is activated off the PUP list, he can start practicing again and then will have 21 days to be named to the 53-man roster.

"Anytime, when you're coming off of an injury, the reps are gold," Gannon said. "And he's played a lot of football, so he's seen a lot of things and he's played a lot of football. But like I said way back when, like, he knows what he needs to get himself ready to play and he needs time to do that, to feel mentally and physically ready to play.

"So, he's ready to go."

Ertz had 406 yards and four touchdowns on 47 catches before his injury last season.