cloudy.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 4:38PM

Falcons cling to hope Pitts, Graham can return this season

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons are not ruling out tight end Kyle Pitts and defensive end Ta’Quon Graham for the season, even though coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday each starter will have surgery.

The Falcons placed Pitts, their 2021 first-round pick, and Graham on injured reserve on Monday with knee injuries. Each will miss at least four games.

The Falcons (5-6) have only six regular-season games remaining, including Sunday’s game at Washington. Atlanta is only a half game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the weak NFC South, so Smith is keeping his options open for the final two games which could determine the team’s playoff chances.

Smith said more will be known about the players’ outlook to return this season following their surgeries. The team has released no details on the surgeries.

“We’re expecting those guys back in the short term,” Smith said. “... There are still some things unknown. I’ll lean on medical advice. Both those guys will have a procedure. We really won’t know until after those procedures what the timeline truly is."

Pitts hurt his right knee in the third quarter of Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Chicago Bears.

Chicago safety Eddie Jackson hit Pitts low after Pitts' 18-yard reception over the middle.

Pitts remained down for a few seconds before walking off the field under his own power.

MyCole Pruitt had a 17-yard catch after replacing Pitts against the Bears and is the most likely fill-in starter against the Commanders.

Smith said “it's never a one for one” when replacing a starter. The team's options at tight end include Parker Hesse and Anthony Firkser. Atlanta rookie Feleipe Franks was inactive last week because of a calf injury.

Tight end John Raine was signed to the practice squad on Monday. Raine spent the 2021 season on Atlanta's practice squad.

Pitts has 28 catches for 356 yards and two touchdowns. He has not met the production from his 2021 rookie season, when he set a team record for tight ends with 1,026 receiving yards on 68 catches.

The loss of Graham for at least four weeks is a blow to the run defense. He has 34 tackles.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Sports, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Oregon public defender shortage: nearly 300 cases dismissed
Courts in Oregon's Multnomah County, home to Portland, have dismissed nearly 300 cases this year, including felonies, due to a shortage of public defenders
3:15PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Japan gets 2 late goals to upset Germany 2-1 at World Cup
Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup
3:04PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Most Fed officials at last meeting backed slower rate hikes
Most Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting favored reducing the size of their interest rate hikes “soon’’— just before raising their benchmark rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time
3:01PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus
It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference
1:11PM ( 2 hours ago )
World Cup Viewer's Guide: Ronaldo and Neymar seek history
Two of the best players in soccer start World Cup competition Thursday as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar both seek history in Qatar
12:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
Thanksgiving slate features five winning football teams
Thanksgiving will be filled with food and winning football teams
12:16PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Iron Bowl still stands out, even without CFP implications
There's nothing like the Iron Bowl, even when the Southeastern Conference title or a College Football Playoff berth isn't on the line
2:31AM ( 12 hours ago )
Jury: NCAA not to blame in ex-USC football player's death
A Los Angeles jury has rejected a claim by the widow of a former USC football player who said the NCAA failed to protect him from repeated head trauma that led to his death
9:45PM ( 17 hours ago )
LSU, USC move up behind UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU in CFP
LSU has moved up to fifth and Southern California is sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU
9:19PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Doubts about candidates tipped the scales in tightest races
Voters deciding to split their tickets or buck their party altogether may have helped Democrats mount a stronger-than-expected performance in the recent midterm elections
12:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Georgia high court allows Saturday voting for Senate runoff
Georgia counties will be allowed to hold early voting this Saturday in the U.S. Senate runoff election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker
12:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
Fox scores 32 as Kings beat Grizzlies for 7th straight win
De’Aaron Fox had 32 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 26 points and the Sacramento Kings won their seventh straight, 113-109 over the Memphis Grizzlies
12:12AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Falcons look to fill huge hole with Pitts on injured reserve
The loss of star tight end Kyle Pitts for any extended period is going to be hard on the Atlanta Falcons
5:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Falcons' Pitts on injured reserve with ailing right knee
Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts has a right knee injury that landed him on injured reserve on Monday
4:37PM ( 1 day ago )
Falcons' Pitts sidelined with knee injury
Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts has a knee injury that will sideline him “in the short term,” coach Arthur Smith said
3:03PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Oregon public defender shortage: nearly 300 cases dismissed
Courts in Oregon's Multnomah County, home to Portland, have dismissed nearly 300 cases this year, including felonies, due to a shortage of public defenders
3:15PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Japan gets 2 late goals to upset Germany 2-1 at World Cup
Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup
3:04PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Most Fed officials at last meeting backed slower rate hikes
Most Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting favored reducing the size of their interest rate hikes “soon’’— just before raising their benchmark rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time
3:01PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Walmart manager opens fire in break room, killing 6
Authorities and witnesses say a Walmart manager opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people
2:40PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Colorado gay club shooting suspect held without bail
The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub has been ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance
2:27PM ( 1 hour ago )