According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (which was later confirmed by head coach Frank Reich), Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has compartment leg syndrome in his calf and underwent surgery—with an expected return around midseason:
#Colts WR Michael Pittman had compartment leg syndrome in his calf, source said, and he had surgery last night. It went well. He should be back the game after their bye. So, likely Week 8.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 28, 2020
Painful and scary for players when this happens, often after getting kicked by another player. Good to see it was taken care of. https://t.co/4k36IEcmZ3— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 28, 2020
It’s a considerable blow to the Colts receiving corps as the rookie wideout had played 58% of the team’s offensive snaps on Sunday—catching 3 receptions for 26 yards (on 4 targets) and providing a physical run blocking presence along the perimeter.
While Pittman Jr. hadn’t had his ‘breakout game’ yet in his debut campaign, he had been showing increasing positive chemistry with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who loves throwing to big bodied wideouts downfield.
In Pittman Jr.’s absence, fellow rookie wide receiver Dezmon Patmon (who was inactive on Sunday) seems like a safe bet to be active for game days—especially with his sheer size (6’4”, 225 pounds) that is similar to Pittman Jr.
The Colts could also look to promote a wide receiver such as Marcus Johnson, who already knows their offensive system, from the team’s practice squad for additional depth.
Having already lost 2nd-year wideout Parris Campbell to a significant knee injury and facing a prolonged absence, the Colts once deep wide receiver corps is starting to get a bit thin.
The encouraging news though is that Pittman Jr. should be back around midseason—meaning his rookie season isn’t completely cut short, with some football left to be played.