As it stands, Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz may not end up returning to the field this Sunday against the Washington Commanders. While Ertz was cleared to practice during the latter stages of the preseason, he has been limited over the last two days.
Therefore, second year tight end Trey McBride could see even more opportunities if Ertz is a no-go come Sunday. Last season, McBride enjoyed a stellar two months following Ertz’s knee injury, totaling 29 receptions for 265 yards, and a touchdown.
With quarterback Josh Dobbs (or Clayton Tune) starting this week, McBride can take on more of a “security blanket role” regardless if he lines up as a lead blocker in the backfield or if he sees time on the line at tight end.
Arizona Cardinals tight end could enjoy a huge Week 1 outing
Quarterbacks like Dobbs or Tune figure to be game managers in Week 1, so they will often go with the underneath pass-catcher or check it down to a back. This could allow McBride to rack up the receptions, and perhaps become the go-to target in the red zone.
Further, if Ertz can’t suit up, look for Geoff Swaim to see ample playing time. Swaim factors in better as a run blocker, so expect him to do the dirty work while McBride seeks to show that the final two months of 2022 wasn’t a fluke. Hint: Thanks to the way he played with a seemingly never ending carousel at quarterback during those last few weeks of the season, he will be just fine.
Ideally, the Arizona Cardinals will have Zach Ertz back for this one. But if they don’t, Trey McBride is more than capable of enjoying a strong outing against the Washington Commanders. Look for the second year tight end to pick up where he left off, starting this week.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)