OWINGS MILLS – A decision will be made by Wednesday on whether tight end Dennis Pitta makes a comeback this season from his second serious hip injury.
Pitta has been practicing since Oct. 21, which started an NFL-mandated 21-day window for Pitta either to be activated, or to be placed on season-ending injured reserve. Pitta will consult with doctors, weigh the risks, and make a decision on his future. According to coach John Harbaugh, the decision comes down to Pitta’s long-term health, not his ability to play again.
“He did look good in practice,” Harbaugh said. “We had a tough time covering him. He was doing stuff for the look team and made a bunch of plays out there. He just kind of looked like his old self out there. But don’t construe that as saying that he’s ready to go, because it’s not about that. The doctors are going to take a hard look at that, and help him decide, is this safe? It’s going to be based on how the hip is responding to the practices.
“Dennis is going to play if he can. There’s no doubt in my mind based on when I’ve talked to him. If it’s safe, and he feels like he can get out there and the hip is responding well, he’s going to play. If it’s not safe, then he’s not going to play. It’s not a black-and-white decision, but it’s a decision he has to make with the doctors. He wants to play. It’s just a matter of whether it’s going to be safe or not. Tomorrow’s an off day (Tuesday), we’ll sit down and have a pow-wow on it.”
Pitta, who turned 30 years old in June, originally injured his hip during training camp in 2013. He returned for the final four games that season, but re-injured the hip on a non-contact play in Week 3 of 2014. His best season was in 2012 when he helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl, catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season, followed by 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns during the playoffs.