Report: Kyle Pitts’ recovery ‘on schedule’ according to Falcons coach

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The Falcons tight end phenom, Kyle Pitts, suffered a season-ending knee injury and is expected to make a full recovery; the rehab is on schedule, according to his position coach, Justin Peele.

Following a Pro Bowl campaign as a rookie, in which he set numerous franchise records and finished just short of Mike Ditka‘s all-time rookie record for receiving yards by a tight end, Kyle Pitts’ second season was a supreme letdown.

The former No. 4 overall pick played in just 10 games, recording 356 yards and two touchdowns on 28 receptions. Despite the underwhelming sophomore season, Pitts doesn’t deserve blame. He remains one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL, but the drop-off at quarterback proved too much. Matt Ryan was a far cry from his prime; however, he was head and shoulders more effective than Marcus Mariota.

Arthur Smith seemingly didn’t trust the veteran to throw the ball nearly as much as Matt Ryan. The Falcons regularly took the ball out of Mariota’s hands for a majority of games, rendering Pitts’ receiving ability useless. Sure, the Falcons boasted one of the best rushing attacks in the league, but the passing facet of the offense was lacking.

Pitts’ production took a substantial hit in 2022, but the outlook for 2023 and beyond is bright. Desmond Ridder might or might not prove to be the franchise quarterback, but he showed more poise than Mariota. Once the Falcons figure out the signal caller situation, Kyle Pitts will vault to the top of tight end rankings again, especially with a healthy recovery.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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