Falcons’ Kyle Pitts not fully recovered from knee surgery

BOSTON -- Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts is not fully recovered from his knee surgery, Falcons coach Arthur Smith admitted on Monday in a virtual call with the Atlanta media.

“Look at him, obviously he’s out there,” Smith said. “Again, there are no perfect time tables. But there are certain things, you see him and he’s doing really well right now and there are certain things that he can’t (do well). It’s been a journey back. He’s going to get there.”

Pitts, the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, has been targeted 21 times in the Falcons’ first four games. He has 11 receptions for 121 yards, including two catches for 21 yards in Sunday’s 23-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Again, I’d hate to put percentages on it, but you have to acknowledge that I thought (against Jacksonville) that there were some things outside that he looked as fast as he did as a rookie,” Smith said. “It’s getting close… but to Kyle’s credit he continues to work and work behind the scenes and has never made an excuse out of anything.”

Pitts suffered his injury during the 11th game of the 2022 season and was on injured reserve when quarterback Desmond Ridder was inserted into the lineup for the the last four games. It’s clear, after Ridder missed a wide-open Pitts on the second series against Detroit, that they still are working on their chemistry and connections in the passing attack.

“I feel like it’s coming along well,” Pitts told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution of his connection with Ridder last Friday in London before the loss to the Jaguars. “This is my first year playing with Des. So, we are still (working on it). Everything is growing. The relationship is growing. It’s a long season, and we’re putting it together.”