Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta returned to the practice field on Wednesday for the first time since July. The team has been without the four-year veteran since training camp after Pitta suffered a dislocated and fractured hip, requiring what many thought to be as season ending surgery.
Pitta has been rehabilitating and Ravens fans were given hope when the team placed the veteran tight end on Injured Reserve. Reports out of the Under Armour Performance Center from Ravens practice on Wednesday said that Pitta has been able to run for a while, but has not been exposed to the game yet.
“Obviously, I haven’t had any contact or any live contact of any kind,” Pitta told reporters on Wednesday. “Things like that you just can’t simulate outside of the football field. I’ll do what I can and take it slow and make sure we’re smart about it and that I’m ready to go when the time comes.”
Pitta is given three weeks from his first day back to practice to get back into game-shape. The Ravens will then have to decide whether or not to place him on the 53-player active roster.
The return of Pitta could be just what the Ravens need at this point in the season. The team is currently in a three-way tie for second with the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers, all with a record of 4-6. The three teams trail the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North, who are 7-4 going into Week 12.
Prior to the injury, the Ravens were looking toward Pitta as one of the big playmakers on offense. Instead, the team signed Dallas Clark to compete with Ed Dickson to help fill Pitta’s vacant position. Clark has led the Ravens’ tight ends this season with 27 receptions for 311 yards.
But with Pitta back out on the field, Joe Flacco will have his go-to receiver to look toward. Last season, Pitta was one of Flacco’s most reliable receivers on the field. That could mean big things for the Ravens after Pitta’s return.
“With the chemistry he has with Joe, he is a dynamic player and you have to account for him at all times,” teammate and fellow tight end Ed Dickson said. “Getting him back on the field gives up more depth and it’s another pass catcher out there for Joe.”