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Kyle Pitts ruled out for rest of 2022 season

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons assess if the current leaders of the NFC South, NFC West, AFC East and AFC North will be able to hold on for the remainder of the season.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, Kyle Pitts’ second season has come to a premature end.

Via multiple reporters, head coach Arthur Smith said the young tight end will be out for the rest of the season after undergoing a knee procedure this week.

Pitts went on injured reserve with a reported torn MCL on Nov. 21. Pitts’ recovery time was to be determined by the outcome of the surgery.

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

Atlanta’s passing offense has generally been down in 2022 after transitioning from Matt Ryan to Marcus Mariota at quarterback. But Pitts’ production in particular took a hit.

After recording 68 catches for 1,026 yards as a rookie in 2021, Pitts finishes 2022 with just 28 receptions for 356 yards with two touchdowns. His yards per reception went down from 15.1 to 12.7, catch percentage was down from 61.8 percent to 47.5 percent, and yards per target was down from 9.3 to 6.0.

In more positive injury news, Smith said left guard Elijah Wilkinson will return to practice from injured reserve. That gives Atlanta 21 days to activate Wilkinson to the 53-man roster.