This has been a bit of a whirlwind so far, but the Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith is not confirming that Kyle Pitts won’t be back on the field this season following a torn MCL.
Initially, it was reported that Pitts sustained a suspected MCL sprain, then it was confirmed that he tore his MCL. We were told by NFL insider Ian Rapoport that he would not return this year but now Arthur Smith is giving us substantiated hope that makes a lot more sense.
Atlanta Falcons could see the return of Kyle Pitts this season
When you hear that a player has torn a ligament in his knee, the automatic thought is that he is done for the year. Players who tear their ACLs are almost always out until at least the next season, but the MCL is a totally different beast (seemingly a lesser beast), so there is hope for Kyle Pitts to be back on the field for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022.
Arthur Smith took to the podium today and updated the status of both Kyle Pitts and Ta’Quon Graham (who had to be carted off the field). He referred to both of them when he said they would be out “in the short term.” But he added two important words: “at least.”
Now, either way, this is extremely good news when compared to Ian Rapoport and his eager Twitter fingers. If Arthur Smith is not coming right out and saying that Pitts is done for the year then he clearly has the chance to come back. Coaches will say whether or not a player is done for the year when it is confirmed. Pitts needs more evaluation but you can assume that they would be able to tell quickly if he was out for the season.
So, being the internet doctor I am (full disclosure, obviously, I have no real credentials), I decided to look up the usual time frame it takes to heal from an MCL tear. Here is what the ‘University of California San Francisco’ says: “On average, these injuries take six weeks to heal. No matter the grade of the tear.”
That is great news, but the one issue is that we are talking about an athlete in one of the most physically demanding sports out there. He has to be absolutely certain that his knee will withstand the game of football if he wants to return.
It will take time to know a clear timeline but things are looking a lot better than Ian Rapoport decided to proclaim. Also, don’t underestimate the loss of Ta’Quon Graham for however many weeks, he is a huge part of the defense.