OWINGS MILLS – Here’s what Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta had to say Wednesday after practicing for the first time this season. Pitta is still not certain if he will ever play again. But he’s going to try, and will use the next few weeks to assess whether he should return to the NFL after twice fracturing his hip.
-His thoughts on Wednesday’s practice:
“It’s good for me to be back out there, emotionally, mentally, and I felt pretty good physically. It’s just a start. It’s Day 1. I’m encouraged by how I felt today. Obviously I have to shake a little bit of the rust off. The game’s a little bit fast for me still right now. (But) I didn’t anticipate feeling this good at this point, being where I’m at. I’m certainly pleased by that.”
-On what will determine whether he returns or not:
“It’s a combination of everything. It’ll be a physical aspect of it, a mental aspect, and emotional. It’s not entirely in my hands how the team feels about me playing, and if I can potentially add any value to this team. There’s a lot of factors that will go into it. There are a lot of decisions to be made, not just by me, but by other individuals.”
-What does Pitta’s wife (Mataya) think about him attempting to come back?
“She was nervous last night, just didn’t want to get a call that something went wrong today. She supports me in anything that I do.”
-Has anyone discouraged him from trying to come back?
“Absolutely. Had people on both ends of the spectrum. I weigh both opinions heavily.”
-If he cannot play this season, would Pitta consider coming back next season?
“I’m not sure. I would like to think that if I can’t make it back this year, what’s going to change next year? In my mind, it’s kind of, I’m working to come back this year – if I can’t, then that might be it.”
-How concerned is Pitta about re-injuring his hip?
“There’s definitely concern of getting injured, but I think that’s the nature of football. I could go out and blow out my ACL just as easily. That’s part of the risk of playing football…And I understand those risks – quite well.“