With 22 catches this season (for 181 yards and two touchdowns), he isn’t going to challenge the 116 balls he caught in 2018, but he should smash the team record.

“Ertz, literally most of the time, he’s always open,” quarterback Kyler Murray said. “Even if he’s not open, he’s good at being friendly to the quarterback. He’s a savvy vet, a safety blanket—all those things I’ve never had. Playing with him is showing me that the tight end is very important for a young quarterback. Any quarterback, really.”

Once it was clear the Eagles weren’t going to give Ertz a long-term contract extension to stay, Arizona made sense with a passing offense and the fact Ertz’s wife Julie grew up in the Valley and there was family there.

It has definitely helped of late, with the couple’s first son, Madden, born last month. Ertz did a rock-the-baby celebration after his touchdown last weekend in Carolina.

But the past comes back with the Eagles visiting. Ertz downplayed the idea that it would be harder if the game was in Philadelphia. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he isn’t worried about Ertz being too hyped.

They are, not surprisingly, the only team in the NFL he has yet to play against. And the only team against whom he does not have a reception.

“He has a lot of love and pride in that organization—you can tell,” Kingsbury said. “He’ll want to play well. He’s been fantastic since he’s been here. I think he’s going to have a really productive season as this thing goes on and he’ll definitely be fired up Sunday.”

Had Ertz stayed an Eagle, he no doubt would’ve gotten the 11 more receptions he needed to surpass Harold Carmichael as the franchise all-time leader.

But he’s a Cardinal now, realistically set up for season records only, and trying to knock off the team that he once called his own.

“When I am done playing I can take a deep breath and can take a look back and see what we accomplished,” Ertz said. “And I say we because I know I didn’t do this myself.”





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