THE INJURY FILES: KYLE PITTS
Rush Nation! We’re back with the second installment of “The Injury Files”, for this off-season. Last time featured New York Jets Running Back, Breece Hall and his ACL injury which ruled him out for over half of his Rookie campaign. Now, we look at Kyle Pitts. What should you be mindful of and is there any trends to help us when it comes to our Fantasy drafts this year? Let’s dive in to the third year Tight End.
LAST SEASON BEFORE INJURY
In a breakout Rookie season, Pitts amassed over 1000 yards. Going on to finish as the TE6 overall. The fourth overall draft pick in 2021 was primed for a big Sophomore year for Fantasy Football. In the ten games he played in 2022 though, his output was underwhelming at best. Catching 28 of 59 targets for 356 yards. Before his injury he was only the TE18 overall.
Pitts suffered a Grade 3 MCL tear in the Falcons week 11 victory over the Chicago Bears. A Grade 3 tear is the most severe and therefore has the longest recovery period. Usually a minimum of six weeks before you can start training after surgery. It’s alot more common to have a torn MCL alongside a torn ACL, which is much worse and has a longer rehab. The former Florida Gator went on to miss the rest of the season following surgery on November 30th.
Let’s look at another pass-catcher and how they bounced back from a Grade 3 MCL tear.
DeAndre Hopkins: In Week 14 of 2021, “DHop” tore his MCL. With Arizona in the playoff picture at the time, it was thought Hopkins may make it back if they was to make a deep playoff run. This wasn’t the case and he wasn’t seen for the remainder of the year. Hopkins only played nine games in 2022, following suspension but was the WR10 in PPG last season.
WHAT WE KNOW NOW
Just last month, Tight End coach Justin Peele said Pitts was “on schedule” in his recovery. Even with being ruled out for the rest of the season, he should be raring to go for the start of training camp, if he is “on schedule”, which is all that’s been reported up to now. Barring any setbacks, week one of 2023 will be a go.
Last season I was burnt by drafting Kyle Pitts early on, as was so many others. Injury aside, only 26 of his 59 targets was deemed catchable by PFF. Marcus Mariota couldn’t unlock the offense through the air like Matt Ryan could before him. The Falcons also ranked 31st in pass attempts last year, which is never good for pass catchers in Fantasy Football. He was still efficient though, when they threw the ball, ranking 5th in yards per route run and 7th in yards per reception. Talent will win out here and Pitts is still the elite pass catching option in Atlanta. Regardless of who’s throwing to him. If he’s available at a discount in your drafts or via trade in dynasty. Cash in.