Zach Ertz “ACL intact,” so what knee injury ended his season?

Cardinals’ TE Zach Ertz will miss the remainder of the 2022 season after suffering a “significant” knee injury in Week 10 against the Rams.

The injury occurred late in the first quarter as the Cardinals drove the ball into Los Angeles territory. Ertz caught a pass from quarterback Colt McCoy on third down and turned to run when he was met by multiple Rams defenders. He went down after fighting briefly and grabbed for his left knee immediately after the play ended.


Ertz was able to walk off the field under his own power but needed the medical cart shortly afterward to get to the locker room where he was quickly ruled out.

Shortly after the game, the team announced they expected Ertz would miss “multiple weeks” but that his ACL was still intact. An MRI on Monday revealed the damage was more significant than initially thought, and reports came out indicating that Ertz would miss the remainder of the season. Ertz sought out a second opinion on Tuesday, but the diagnosis remained the same and he was scheduled for surgery, ending his 2022 campaign.

It’s still unclear exactly what Ertz is dealing with. He grabbed for the front of his knee after the play, which generally implies an ACL injury. The team, however, said the ACL is intact, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to undergo surgery if the injury were ACL related.

Heiden Ortho

The next most likely injury would be something PCL related. The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) sits inside the knee. just behind the ACL. It works closely with the ACL to stabilize the knee, with the PCL specifically preventing the tibia from sliding backwards relative to the femur.

PCL ruptures are often the result of direct force on the front of the knee. In Ertz’ case, there is visible force on the front of his knee as he gets tackled.

If Ertz is dealing with a PCL injury, surgery is the safest option. While most PCL injuries can heal on their own, ruptures often require surgery. PCL injuries also tend to come with additional damage to the surrounding area.


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