FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Kyle Pitts left Sunday's game against the Bears with a knee injury. He was initially listed as questionable to return, but the tight end never found his way back to the field.
Pitts took a shot to the lowery body on the first offensive play for the Falcons to start the second half. He came down with the 19-yard pick up, but defensive back Eddie Jackson lowered his shoulder into Pitts' right leg. Pitts was slow to get up as trainers came out to field. The tight end did jump up and run off the field, but he never returned in the Falcons win.
With Feleipe Franks and Anthony Firkser inactive, the Falcons were left with MyCole Pruitt and Parker Hesse to hold down the tight end position for the remainder of the game.
Arthur Smith said after the win that he would not speculate on the extent of Pitts' injury, nor Ta'Quon Graham's (who also suffered a knee injury and was carted off the field).
"I'm not trying to evade the question," Smith said. "I've been through this enough where you think you see a guy get carted off and he's actually OK. You see a guy run off and he's done for a year. Until we get the imaging and kind of standard operating procedure now, guys are going to want to get opinions, and that's great. That's part of the NFL. I won't have anything for you for 24, 48 hours."
A day later, initial reports from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport stated that Pitts suffered an MCL sprain, with further imagining expected as Monday continued.
However, as the day went on the reports were less hopeful. Rapoport followed his initial tweet with an update about an hour later, reporting that Pitts had actually suffered a torn MCL and it was a tear that would require surgery.
During his Monday press conference, though, Smith didn't confirm reports, saying nothing is confirmed regarding the extent of Pitts' injury. The head coach did say that Pitts and Graham will be out "in the short-term," though, "at least."
As for what happens next, Smith said the Falcons are still waiting for final confirmation on the full extent of Pitts' (and Graham's) injury. Smith said the Falcons will not make a decision on potentially putting Pitts (or Graham) on injured reserve until they receive that full - and final - report.
"Terry (Fontenot) and I will talk through the next 48 hours," Smith said, "and until we get confirmation from the full set of medical opinions and until everybody's on the same page, then we'll decide if we need to make a move or not."
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears during Week 11.