Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, citing league sources, reports that Ravens TE Dennis Pitta is expected to open training camp and the regular season the on the physically unable to perform list.
This really isn’t a huge surprise after Pitta sustained a second hip injury last year. However, it appears as though his career could be a crossroads.
“A couple of things are going to have to happen for him to play ultimately,” HC John Harbaugh said last month. “No. 1, he has to be cleared by the doctors. And, No. 2, he has to decide if he wants to play because obviously there will be some risk involved. He hasn’t been cleared by the doctors.”
Should Pitta remain on the team’s PUP list at the start of the year, he would miss the first six games of the regular season.
Pitta previously mentioned that he is “optimistic” about playing in the NFL again.
“I’m optimistic,” Pitta said, via BaltimoreRavens.com. “I feel good. But obviously it’s a process. I have an idea in mind of where I’d like to be in a couple months, but at the same time you don’t know. I know what it felt like to do this one time. I’ve never known what it felt like to do it twice.”
Pitta stressed that this is what he loves to do and is looking forward to making another comeback.
“I knew I would make an attempt to come back,” Pitta said. “This is what I love to do. Injuries are part of this game and you have to try to overcome them the best you can. You always want to leave this game on your own terms.”
Even after he sustained his first hip injury, the Ravens elected to reward him with a five-year, $32.5 million contract that included $16 million guaranteed.
Pitta, 30, has base salaries of $4 million (2015), $5 million (2016), $5.5 million (2017-2018) coming his way over the remainder of the contract.
In 2014, Pitta was limited to appearing in three games and catching 16 passes for 125 yards receiving and no touchdowns.
Baltimore protected themselves by drafting TE Maxx Williams, who many believed was the best tight end in this year’s draft class.