EAGLES’ ERTZ CLEARS HIS HEAD AFTER TAKING A LOW BLOW

By Jack Ryan

Tackling in training camp has its down side.

Just ask Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.

He was checked out for a concussion after taking a low hit from rookie Blake Countess in yesterday’s practice because the training staff saw him shaking his head after the hit.

Ertz was cleared of any injury, but wide receiver Jordan Matthews has a sore knee after taking a shot from another rookie during practice and Ertz had a message for the new Eagles after the session.

Ertz said that while he understands it is part of the game because of rules against hitting players in the head, it’s something that has to be addressed so that the Eagles aren’t hurting themselves in practice.

“I don’t think Malcolm [Jenkins] would go low,” Ertz said. “I think if he went high, I’d go down a little easier with the respect factor playing in. Guys got to be pros. These rookies are coming in. They don’t know what the atmosphere is like, the respect that’s given in practice. So Malcolm, I think if me and him were going against each other, there’d be a little respect factor.”

The Eagles didn’t have full tackling in Chip Kelly’s three years as coach because they wanted to avoid injuries, but coach Doug Pederson has taken the opposite approach. For players like Countess who are trying to make the team, the prospect of holding up on a hit is going to be weighed against the prospect of getting cut and that makes it inevitable that there will be some unintended consequences when blows are delivered this summer.

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