The Atlanta Falcons earned a hard-fought 27-24 victory over the Chicago but suffered a significant loss in the progress. Star tight end Kyle Pitts, who took a hit to his right knee from Bears safety Eddie Jackson and remained down on the field, sustained a torn MCL and will require surgery. The 2021 Pro Bowler will miss a minimum of four weeks.
There was initial optimism that Pitts wouldn't miss considerable time, as he walked off the field under his own power and did high knees on the sideline, but later entered the medical tent and then went to the locker room.
One of the weeks Pitts will miss is the Falcons' bye week, meaning he could only miss three games, but with the severity of his injury and lack of time left in the season, it's far from a certainty he'll return to the field.
After Pitts went down, veteran MyCole Pruitt took over the role of Atlanta's top tight end, hauling in one pass for 17 yards on two targets.
Smith said that Pruitt "stepped up big time," and he's earned the trust of quarterback Marcus Mariota going back to their time with the Tennessee Titans.
"He doesn't get a lot of credit, and he deserves a whole lot," Mariota said. "Not only does he block at the point of attack and do a lot of different things for us ... Unfortunately, with Kyle going down, he had to step into a bigger role and had a huge play for us on one of those keepers.
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"It's kind of fun for me - I've known MyCole since we were in Tennessee together, and I have complete faith and trust in him. He's done a lot of the dirty jobs and it's cool to see him have success today."
Hit with Pitts-sized shoes to fill for at least the next four games, Pruitt will get a chance to continue his positive outing move forward, starting Sunday against the Washington Commanders.
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