The Atlanta Falcons won Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears 27-24, but it was a costly win as tight end Kyle Pitts and defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham head to Injured Reserve.
Pitts was injured after Bears’ safety went low on a tackle while Pitts was in the process of making a catch. There were conflicting reports early this morning on Pitts’ knee, but the latest from NFL Insider Ian Rapoport was that he had suffered a torn MCL.
Smith wouldn’t corroborate internet reports at media availability on Monday afternoon.
Pitts and Graham will miss at least the next four games. The Falcons signed tight end John Raine and defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson to backfill for Pitts and Graham according to the official site.
Raine was an undrafted free agent in 2020 after playing at Northwestern. He had 24 catches in a COVID-shortened season. The Falcons added him to the practice squad.
With only five-healthy defensive linemen on the 53-man roster, Johnson was signed to immediately add depth to the active roster.
The Falcons claimed him off waivers. He was most recently with the Houston Texans after being signed from Atlanta’s practice squad earlier this season. He started 16 games in 2020 for the Minnesota Vikings.
Graham had been one of the Falcons’ most improved players and his absence leaves a big gap in defensive coordinator Dean Pee’s 3-4. Johnson should have familiarity with Atlanta’s defensive structure and will have a chance to contribute this week against the Washington Commanders.