Michael Pittman Jr. injury update ahead of Week 3

Michael Pittman Jr. missed last week's game after sustaining a quad injury at the Colts' Wednesday practice. Is Pittman going to return this week?

We are now entering the third week of the 2022 NFL season. Daily practice reports are becoming longer and longer with injuries. That includes Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr., who missed last week’s game due to a quad injury. What is the latest on Pittman’s status? Can fantasy football managers count on him to return to action this Sunday?

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Michael Pittman Jr.’s injury status

Injuries are, by far, the worst part of fantasy football. Much like 16-year-old me playing Madden, I wish we could just turn them off. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way. There are way too many fantasy-relevant players whose injury status is up in the air heading into Week 3, and Pittman is among them.

When it comes to my guys for the 2022 fantasy season, there wasn’t a single player I wanted more than Pittman. He was my No. 1 guy, and I was feeling really good about him following a stellar Week 1 that saw him catch nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Pittman came out of the game perfectly fine and was all set to build upon his scorching start to the season in Week 2. Unfortunately, Pittman sustained a quad injury at last Wednesday’s practice. After not practicing Thursday and Friday, it became apparent Pittman was not going to play.

Although having your fantasy players miss any time is frustrating, the hope was the injury wasn’t overly serious, and Pittman would be able to return after missing just one game. Given how early it is in the season, it makes sense for teams to be cautious, especially with their superstars.

Pittman was limited at Wednesday’s practice, but the fact that he practiced at all is extremely encouraging, especially this early in the week. And that is also encouraging for the Colts offense as a whole.

While it would be an overreaction to blame the entirety of the Colts’ offensive struggles on Pittman’s absence, last week illustrated how important he is to their passing game.

QB Matt Ryan completed just 16 of his 30 passes for 195 yards and threw three interceptions. The Colts did not score a single point against the Jaguars.

Perhaps part of that was because the Colts rolled out a receiving corps of Dulin, Parris Campbell, Dezmon Patmon, and Mike Strachan. While Dulin deserves credit for stepping up and catching five of his seven targets for 79 yards, let’s be honest – he should never be a team’s WR2, let alone the WR1.

We’ve seen what the lack of weapons can do to quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. And in Week 2, Ryan never stood a chance without Pittman.

Will Michael Pittman Jr. return for a potential shootout against the Chiefs?

Pittman’s injury never sounded like it was overly concerning. If this were the playoffs, my guess is Pittman would’ve been out there last week.

Barring some sort of setback on Thursday or Friday, I would be very surprised if Pittman wasn’t out there on Sunday against the Chiefs. In fact, The Athletic’s Zak Keefer tweeted, “Based on what we’ve seen early in practice, Michael Pittman Jr should be a go this week.”

The Colts play the Chiefs in Indianapolis on Sunday at 1 PM ET. Fortunately, fantasy managers will know Pittman’s status in plenty of time to react accordingly. But I’m not even sure that will be a concern.

My guess is Pittman gets in a full practice on Friday and isn’t even listed on the final injury report. But in the event he does end up questionable, it will likely be a formality. Fantasy managers should plan for Pittman to be back in action this week and can deploy him as the WR1 we know he is.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.


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