Florida Gators in the NFL: Kyle Pitts’ 2022 goes from humble to injury * Florida

It’s the hit all tight ends fear: Defensive backs drop to the knee. And it might have ended Kyle Pitts’ season on Sunday.

The Falcons placed Pitts on injured reserve with what some are reporting is a torn MCL. He’s out for at least four weeks, and if the MCL is indeed torn, he won’t be back on the field until 2023.

It’s a tragic end to a disappointing sophomore campaign for Pitts. His numbers are way down from his historic rookie season as the Falcons have turned into a run-heavy team — thanks in no small part to a quarterback who is ridiculously inaccurate, especially when targeting Pitts.

If Pitts is indeed done for the year, he can rehab knowing the Falcons will definitely have a new guy under center next season. Pitts should be back with a vengeance — and it can help if Atlanta can find someone who takes the ball anywhere near him.

The streak is over

CJ Gardner-Johnson didn’t throw an interception last week. That’s notable because he’s hit at least one — and six total — in five straight games. Despite the rare goose egg, Ceedy Duce had a career-high 11 tackles.

And, as an Eagles reporter noted, he still leads the rival Giants by $72 million in catches this season.

The Football Gods Smote Down RBU

My suggestion that UF was entering a golden era of shooting was apparently a curse. Dameon Pierce had his worst day as a pro. Malik Davis slipped back into his third-string role and averaged less than two yards per carry in garbage time — a per-carry average that still doubled Pierce. And current Gators Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne combined for 41 yards on 15 carries against Vanderbilt.

I am deeply sorry for offending the football gods and will use the pads as penance.

Return of the Mac

Evan McPherson’s incredible rookie season, capped by perhaps the best postseason by a kicker in NFL history, made him look superhuman. But all kickers — except Justin Tucker — are going through slumps.

McPherson had missed his last two field goals and an extra point in his previous two games. While McPherson didn’t doubt himself, many fans began to question whether he was as good as he appeared to be a year ago. On Sunday, he silenced the critics.

McPherson drilled all seven kicks – four XP and three FG, including this 54-yarder. He did it in Pittsburgh, one of the toughest places to kick in the league, and through windy conditions.

Money Mac is back.

XFL Preliminary roster

The XFL returns this spring and several former Gators are looking to restart their pro careers in the league. The following players were selected in last week’s draft:

WR Josh Hammond – DC Defenders

S Matt Elam (!!!) – Orlando Guardians

TE Deandre Goolsby – San Antonio Brahmas

RB Matt Jones – Vegas Vipers

Other Highlights of Week 11

CJ Henderson had a career-high 11 tackles Sunday. Unfortunately, when a corner makes so many tackles, it’s because he gives up a ton of catches – many of them to the player of the week below. Henderson needs to trust his skills more and close the space between himself and the receivers.

Jabari Zuniga made his debut in 2022 after being called up by the Saints from their practice squad. He had two tackles.

Trent Brown was apparently benched by the Patriots to start Sunday’s game against the Jets.

It was Brown’s first time without a start since his freshman season in 2015 when he was healthy. He’s been up and down this year — as have most of his Patriots offensive linemen — but it was surprising not to see him with the first unit.

Again, Brown entered the game as an injury replacement – and then gave up two sacks against the dynamic Jets defensive front. It’s been a strange year in New England.

Taven Bryan had another sack, bringing his season total to 2.5. That’s a career high for the former first-round pick. He’s never going to live up to those first-round expectations, but he’s having his best season in his first year in Cleveland.

Player of the week

As we all expected, Demarcus Robinson is the Gators best pass rusher in the National Football League this season. D-Rob caught all nine of his targets Sunday, setting a career high in one game for catches. His 128 receiving yards were the second-highest total as a pro.

In recent weeks, Robinson has been targeted by Lamar Jackson. And maybe that’s not a huge surprise: After signing with Baltimore late in training camp, he quickly impressed both Jackson and coach John Harbaugh.

Robinson faces a breakout because of his improved route. He is excellent at beating defensive backs one-on-one with subtle moves.

His hands have always been good — only four drops in his entire career — but his footwork has also taken a huge leap this season. On Sunday, he put in work on the side with some stellar toe kicks.

That catch was one of several against fellow Gator CJ Henderson. Henderson had very good coverage in this game, but Robinson was just better. And he was clearly getting the best of another Florida Gator.

D-Rob earned the fourth highest Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade of the week. He has upside and is set to start for many fantasy football teams in the future.

The game of the week

Dante Fowler loves playing in the Cowboys’ explosive defense. Having never really lined up in his career, Fowler goes one-on-one with guards and centers and eats.

Fowler’s speed is no match for most inside linebackers. He’s up to five sacks on the season and has a chance to reach double figures for just the second time in his career.

Here are all the Week 11 stats (ranked and ranked in order of performance):

The good

  • Demarcus Robinson, BAL, WR

Week 11: 9 reps (9 targets), 128 yards, 54 snaps (78%)

  • Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, PHI, S

Week 11: 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 65 snaps (100%)

  • Dante Fowler, Jr., DAL, OLB

Week 11: 1 sack, 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 22 snaps (39%)

Week 11: 1 sack, 1 tackle, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 43 snaps (66%), 11 ST snaps (37%)

Week 11: 3/3 FG, Long 54, 4/4 XP

Week 11: 3 rec (5 targets), 43 yards, 24 snaps (44%), left with knee injury

Week 11: 3 carries (5 targets), 41 yards, 47 snaps (73%)

Week 11: 5 tackles, 2 QB hits, 72 snaps (95%)

  • Jonathan Bullard, MIN, DT

Week 11: 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 37 snaps (51%)

Week 11: 2 rec, 16 yds, 1 rush, -1 yds, 1 KR, 34.0 avg, 2 PR, 4.5 avg, 20 snaps (31%), 16 ST snaps (52%)

Week 11: 3 tackles, 2 PD, 41 snaps (71%)

Week 11: 3 tackles, 64 snaps (100%)

Week 11: 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 69 snaps (100%), 10 ST snaps (43%)

Week 11: 10 rush, 8 yards, 2 rec, 9 yards, 43 snaps (77%)

Week 11: 1/1 FG, Long 32

Week 11: 3 tackles, 42 snaps (75%)

Week 11: 43 snaps (68%)

Week 11: 2 points, 46.0 ppg

The Limited

Week 11: 1 tackle, 1 PD, 23 snaps (35%)

Week 11: 7 rush, 13 yds, 2 rec, 22 yds, 13 breaks (18%), 17 ST snaps (61%)

Week 11: 2 tackles, 25 snaps (39%)

Week 11: 2 tackles, 22 snaps (33%), 6 ST snaps (27%)

Week 11: 1 tackle, 27 snaps (37%), 6 ST snaps (17%)

Week 11: 1 target, 0 catches, 1 fumble return, 5.0 avg., 14 sacks (22%), left with hamstring injury

  • Marcell Harris, NYJ, LB/S

Week 11: 5 snaps (8%), 20 ST snaps (67%)

The Inactive

  • Keanu Neal, TB, S: Bye Week
  • Jawaan Taylor, JAX, RT: Bye Week
  • Teez Tabor, SEA, S: Goodbye Week
  • Stone Forsythe, SEA, T: Goodbye Week
  • Kyle Trask, TB, QB: Bye Week
  • Kaiir Elam, BUF, CB: Inactive (Ankle)
  • DJ Humphries, ARI, LT: Off (Back)
  • Max Garcia, ARI, G: Inactive (shoulder)
  • Feleipe Franks, ATL, TE: Inactive (calf)
  • Jonathan Greenard, HOU, DE: Injured reserve

The Practice Group

  • Antonio Callaway, DAL, WR
  • Tyrie Cleveland, DEN, WR
  • Jarrad Davis, DET, LB
  • Jean Delance, ARI, OL
  • Fred Johnson, PHI, OL
  • Freddie Swain, MIA, WR
  • La’mical Perine, MIA, RB
  • Jeff Driskel, HOU, QB
  • David Sharpe, BAL, T
  • Jeremiah Moon, BAL, LB
  • Duke Dawson, PIT, DB
  • Quincy Wilson, PIT, DB
  • Jonotthan Harrison, ATL, OL