Most recent report suggests Kyle Pitts could return before season’s end

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Attrition is such an undercovered facet of Super Bowl winners. Injuries are more luck than anything, but they certainly affect teams’ chances of succeeding, and they’ve decimated the Falcons recently. Over the last month or so, Atlanta has seen Casey Hayward, Elijah Wilkinson, Matt Hennessy, Ta’Quon Graham, and Kyle Pitts hit the Injured Reserve. However, the latest report suggests that Pitts’ knee injury shouldn’t keep him out for the rest of the season.

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pitts likely suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in the third quarter against the Bears on a hit applied by Eddie Jackson, which would be categorized as dirty by many people.

“Each grade has a different timetable for return,” said Dr. Carlos Uquillas, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles and a team physician for the Angels, via the AJC. “Grade 1 is usually one to two weeks. Grade 2 is two to four weeks to return. Grade 3 is six to eight weeks to return. So, based on the timeline they provided us, that might give us an idea of how bad it is.”

Given his comments about how long a Grade 1 sprain takes to recover from, it’s very clearly a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, or an IR stint would’ve been senseless. The good news is surgery is seemingly not required for these types of injuries.

“Grade 2 are moderate sprains where the actual ligament is disrupted, but not completely disrupted,” Uquillas said via the AJC. “For the MCL, it’s one of those ligaments that heals reliably on its own. Usually, it does not require surgery.”

D Led did include a timeline if Pitts did suffer a Grade 3 sprain, so take his report with a grain of salt. No official word has been put out by the team, who generally plays these sorts of situations close to the vest. The Falcons are hopeful it’s just a Grade 2 sprain because a Grade 3 sprain could require surgery, per Dr. Uquillas, which could keep him out as many as seven weeks, likely shutting him down for the season.

“Grade 3 tears are complete tears, meaning the connection is disrupted completely,” Uquillas said via AJC. “That can either happen closer to the femur or in the attachment to the thigh bone or lower down on the shin. They both heal a little bit differently.”

“Sometimes for a professional athlete, they’ll do a surgery to help it heal more reliably without any looseness,” Uquillas continued via AJC. “Most of the time we brace them, rehab them, and they will heal on their own. Some of them can (have) surgery.”

Hopefully, the Falcons and Kyle Pitts avoided disaster, but honestly, the only priority of both parties should be to get the former No. 4 overall pick back to where he was before the injury, even if that means shutting him down for the season.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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