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Zach Ertz plays through rib injuries in Eagles' defeat

Zach Ertz's Eagles are done for the season after a 17-9 wild-card loss to the Seahawks.

Hearing Ertz speak after the game, it's stunning he even played.

Ertz told reporters he suffered two non-displaced rib fractures when he was hit hard by Cowboys safety Xavier Woods in Week 16, which caused him to find blood in his urine and forced Eagles medical staff to rush him to the hospital. The tight end couldn't get out of bed the next day, but two weeks later, he was suited up and playing for the Eagles in the playoffs.

"It's been tough. It's been real tough," a teary-eyed Ertz told reporters after the loss. "It hurts. Been a lot of highs and lows. My faith just kept me through it, kept me grounded. There was a plan for me.

"I just wanted it to be black and white, honestly. I took the emotion out of it. I just prayed that I wanted it to be clear. I didn't want it to be a gray area where it was an emotional decision. When it was unanimous that I was good to play, I knew that there was a plan and a reason, and that's why I was able to go."

Ertz caught two passes for 44 yards and played 53 of Philadelphia's 61 total offensive snaps in the loss. While he battled through the pain, his teammate, quarterback Carson Wentz, was knocked out early with a concussion, forcing 40-year-old backup Josh McCown into action. Philadelphia gained 282 yards of total offense and was shut out of the end zone on an understandably frustrating night for its offense.

"I wanted to play for this city," Ertz said. "I take a lot of pride (in) playing for my teammates."

The Eagles were much like their tight end down the stretch of the 2019 season, fighting through a significant amount of injuries to win four straight with a cast of unheralded contributors en route to the NFC East crown and a home playoff game. They'll be remembered for their toughness more than their success, but should be commended for both.

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