Kyle Pitts' sophomore season is effectively over after the Atlanta Falcons placed him on injured reserve Monday. Pitts will be out of a minimum of four games after he suffered a torn MCL in Week 11, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said the injury will require surgery and could be season-ending.
Pitts, 22, took a bad hit to his right knee early in the second half against the Chicago Bears but managed to walk off the field under his own power. He left the game with three receptions for 43 yards in the Falcons' 27-24 win.
It's a tragic end to Pitts' down season. The second-year tight end had just 28 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games after putting up a 68-catch, 1,026-yard rookie campaign in 2021. Pitts has been the victim of the Falcons' third-worst passing offense in the NFL this season with quarterback Marcus Mariota attempting just 251 passes for 1,699 yards through 11 games.
The hope, it sounds like, is to have Pitts ready for a potential playoff run or ensure his health for the 2023 season. At 5-6, Atlanta is just a half-game back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the NFC South division lead. The Falcons are also squarely in the hunt for one of the NFC's three wild card spots, depending on how the San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals matchup ends on Monday night.
The Falcons will likely turn to some combination of Parker Hesse, Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt or converted quarterback Feleipe Franks to replace Pitts at tight end.