The Falcons are not taking any risks with their future at tight end, ruling out Kyle Pitts for Sunday's game against the rival Buccaneers.
Pitts is dealing with a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the entire week of practice. Friday's absence sealed his fate for Week 5, a showdown of two teams tied for the NFC South lead at 2-2.
Atlanta will miss Pitts' presence and big-play potential in this game, but it won't be too different from how the Falcons have looked offensively so far this season. After racking up 1,026 yards on 68 catches last season, Pitts has caught just 10 passes for 150 yards through the first month of the 2022 campaign. Take out his five-catch, 87-yard performance in Week 3 and that total gets even more disappointing, further frustrating the many fantasy owners who bought high on Pitts' potential, perhaps without considering who was playing quarterback.
Marcus Mariota struggled to do much of anything through the air in Week 4, completing just 7 of 19 passes for 139 yards and an interception. Atlanta essentially abandoned the pass in the second half of that game, at one point calling 14 straight runs, including 10 consecutive handoffs on a touchdown march. It worked against Cleveland, but might not fare as well against Tampa Bay, despite the Bucs' inability to stop the run against Kansas City last week.
Atlanta will likely continue to be cautious with Pitts and an injury that tends to linger longer than most.