- The Washington Times
Monday, November 21, 2022

The Atlanta Falcons will be without one of their top playmakers when they face the Washington Commanders next weekend. And for a while after that. 

Tight end Kyle Pitts, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft, suffered a torn MCL on a low hit by the Bears’ Eddie Jackson following an 18-yard pass over the middle in Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears.

The loss is a blow to the Falcons as Pitts is regarded as one of the best young tight ends in football. Though his stats (356 yards, 28 catches, two touchdowns) are down this season, Pitts had over 1,000 receiving yards and was a Pro Bowl pick as a rookie last season. 

The Falcons placed Pitts on injured reserve on Monday, forcing him to sit for at least four games. Falcons coach Arthur Smith said it’s too early to know if Pitts will need surgery. 

“(General manager) Terry (Fontenot) and I will talk through the next 48 hours, and until we get confirmation from the full set of medical opinions and until everybody’s on the same page, then we’ll decide if we need to make a move or not,” Smith said.

The Commanders (6-5) and the Falcons (5-6) are among the teams fighting for the final wild card spot in the NFC, making Sunday’s game critical for both squads.  MyCole Pruitt will likely replace Pitts.

The NFL Network first reported Pitts‘ injury. The outlet reported that the Falcons initially believed that Pitts suffered only a sprained MCL, but further tests revealed that the ligament is torn. 

CBS Sports reported that Pitts is expected to miss the rest of the season with the injury. 

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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