HomeSportsKey Falcons Player Out for the Year, Fans Weigh in

Key Falcons Player Out for the Year, Fans Weigh in

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons received awful news on Wednesday when it was announced that second-year tight end Kyle Pitts’ season will end early because of a torn MCL.

Head coach Arthur Smith confirmed to multiple reporters that the playmaker will be out for the season once he undergoes knee surgery this week.

Pitts went on injured reserve with a torn MCL on November 21. Then, Pitts’ recovery time was to be determined by the surgery, but the news has come out that he will now miss the remainder of the season.

“Nothing that concerns us going into 2023,” Smith said about Pitts via Tori McElhaney on the team’s website.

Atlanta’s passing offense has mostly had a bad year since transitioning from Matt Ryan to Marcus Mariota at quarterback. But Pitts’ production took a significant drop in production with Mariota at the helm.

Pitts broke out as a rookie, making the Pro Bowl and becoming the first rookie tight end to earn that honor since Jeremy Shockey in 2002.

Pitts notched 68 catches for 1,026 yards as a rookie in 2021. However, he followed that breakout performance Pitts with a much worse 2022 showing. He reeled in just 28 receptions for 356 yards with two touchdowns. Moreover, his yards per reception went down from 15.1 to 12.7, and his catch percentage was down from 61.8 percent to 47.5 percent. Lastly, his yards per target was down from 9.3 to 6.0.

However, luckily for the Falcons, head coach Arthur Smith said left guard Elijah Wilkinson will return to practice from injured reserve. The Falcons now have 21 days to activate Wilkinson to the 53-man roster.

Fans React to the Falcons Losing Kyle Pitts

“Wait, was he even playing to begin with?” one person asked, referencing Pitts’ seeming absence from the offense.

One fan seemed to want to pull Marcus Mariota and put rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder in, seeing if he can ignite the offense.

“Now let’s see Ridder come in,” they wrote. However, another fan responded back, joking that the backup quarterback wouldn’t help too much in Pitts’ absence.

“Don’t think he’d be very effective at TE,” they joked in a tweet with over 250 likes.

Other fans jumped at the chance to note that the Falcons haven’t done much with their former first round pick this season. Many have been noting that the player’s talent has been wasted this season.

“‘What’s a Kyle Pitts?’ Arthur Smith,” one fan jokingly wrote. Another fan piled on, asking a sarcastic question. “Wow who are they gonna target twice a game now?”

Another fan responded to that user with a sharp criticism of Marcus Mariota’s play for the Falcons this year. “The ground, Mariota is already accustomed to having the ground as his number 1 target.”

We’ll see if the Falcons can rebound without Kyle Pitts when the 5-7 squad hosts the 4-7 Pittsburgh Steelers. Kickoff is at noon ET on Sunday, December 4th.