After two hip surgeries in as many years, Pitta has been practicing for the past three weeks and looked good in practice, but the final call, as Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday, would be made by the doctors.
Doctors advised Pitta not to play because it isn’t safe, and though he could have overruled them, he and his family chose not to do so.
Monday, November 9, 2015, 3:39pm
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta has until Wednesday to officially declare whether he’s going to play this season. Pitta opened the year on the physically unable to perform list, and Wednesday marks the last day the Ravens can move him to the 53-man roster.
The team has put the decision in Pitta’s hands after he suffered serious injuries to the same hip in back-to-back years.
“It’s up to Dennis,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said two weeks ago.
Pitta first returned to the practice field Oct. 21, kicking off a 21-day window where he was allowed to practice without counting against the roster. He has continued to practice for the last three weeks, but hasn’t given any update on his future.
The plan going into those practices was for Pitta to see how his body responded and then make a final call.
If Pitta doesn’t feel like he’s ready to play again, the Ravens would place him on season-ending injured reserve. Pitta could technically attempt to make a return in 2016, but he previously suggested that it’s now or never for him.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 12:01pm
The Ravens want to see how Pitta is doing. He's still not likely to make much of a fantasy impact this season.
Monday, September 7, 2015, 3:08pm
The buzz surrounding 2015 second-round pick Maxx Williams continues.
Williams, the first tight end selected in the draft, very likely will be the top rookie at his position, and he'll help fill the void left by Owen Daniels going to the Denver Broncos in free agency and Dennis Pitta remaining on the physically unable to perform list. He has great hands and has a knack for making plays (see the fourth down-and-20 conversion in the preseason opener).
History, though, says expectations should be tempered. This isn't just for Williams, but for all of the rookie tight ends, including Clive Walford (Raiders), Tyler Kroft (Bengals), Blake Bell (49ers) and MyCole Pruitt (Vikings).
The story went on to say: In the last 10 seasons, there were just three rookie tight ends who caught more than 50 passes in their first season: John Carlson (2008), Jermaine Gresham (2010) and Tim Wright (2013). There were seven with over 500 yards receiving and eight with over four touchdown catches. So, what should be the realistic goals for Williams? Based on the track record of rookie tight ends, 40 catches and 400 yards would be a very solid season.
Baltimore placed tight end Dennis Pitta on the physically unable to perform list, as Head Coach John Harbaugh previously indicated would happen.
Pitta, who is still rehabbing after his second major hip surgery, will not be eligible to play until Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 26. Pitta could make his return on Monday Night Football, but that’s still in question.
“There’s more to it than just, ‘Can he play?’” Harbaugh said two weeks ago. “Should he play? Will he be cleared to play? And what is being cleared to play entail in terms of liability and things like that? There’s a lot to it that has to be worked out.”
Pitta participated in individual and position drills during Organized Team Activities, but once the Ravens put the pads on for training camp, Pitta was held out. He hasn’t had any contact since dislocating and fracturing his hip on Sept. 21, 2014. Pitta has also run routes on the field before each of the Ravens’ preseason games. He appears to have good mobility and explosion, but still needs to gain permission from doctors to suit up, the story all said. Crockett Gillmore and rookie Maxx Williams are expected to carry the load. Williams is a rookie so Gillmore is ranked higher but perhaps the upside falls with Williams. Keep in mind, rookie TEs don't always have an immediate fantasy impact, but this will be a little more of a pass-friendly offense under Marc Trestman.
Pitta will remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he recovers from a second surgery on his hip. Harbaugh revealed Tuesday that the best-case scenario is a midseason return for Pitta, who has played just seven games the last two seasons after dislocating the same hip twice.
"There's no urgency at this time," Harbaugh said via ESPN.com. "We'll be talking about a midseason type of thing if he did it. We just have to see where it goes."
Crockett Gillmore is currently atop of the Ravens' depth chart at tight end, with second-round rookie Maxx Williams looking like a solid No. 2 so far. Fifth-round pick Nick Boyle will also be in the mix for playing time. As we said about Gillmore, he's improving as a pass-catcher but is more of a blocker while Williams could be the team's long-term solution at the position.
The Ravens placed tight end Dennis Pitta and free safety Terrence Brooks on the physically unable to perform list, an unsurprising development considering the severity and timing of their respective injuries.
Pitta has rehabilitated his surgically repaired right hip after fracturing and dislocating it for a second time last September. However, it remains unclear if he'll be medically cleared to play again. Pitta is likely to begin the regular season on the reserve list and would be required under NFL rules to miss at least the first six games of the regular season.
With Pitta out, Crocket Gillmore and Maxx Williams are vying for snaps as the team's starter, and Gillmore (a former third-round pick) reportedly has the edge on the rookie Williams.
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta is likely to begin training camp and the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, according to NFL sources. If Pitta began the season on the reserve list, he would be required to miss at least the first six games of the season.
Pitta hasn't been medically to practice since his second serious hip injury in as many years. He has rehabilitated the hip to the point where he's able to do some route running and individual drills, but wasn't allowed to fully participate during the Ravens' offseason practices.
Crockett Gilmore and Maxx Williams are vying for snaps at tight end, a position that was heavily involved in Marc Trestman's offense during his days in Chicago.
Ryan Mink of the Ravens' official website believes that TE Crockett Gillmore has a good chance to break out: Gillmore showed strong hands last year and they have only gotten better. He struggled with drops last training camp. So far this summer, he’s hardly let a ball touch the ground. He’s had another year in the offensive system, so he won’t be thinking as much on the field. Plus, Gillmore is massive. He was a big guy last year, but added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason. He’s still got the ability to stretch the field, which he showed by catching numerous jump balls in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp. Flacco seemed to develop a real comfort with Gillmore during the practices.
Gillmore is more of a blocker than a receiver but as the article notes, Gillmore has improved in that facet of the game. There is opportunity at the position with Dennis Pitta still sidelined and Owen Daniels in Denver, but the team drafted Maxx Williams as the long-term answer, so it's not clear how big of a receiving role Gillmore will have in 2015. Martellus Bennett shined under then-HC Marc Trestman in Chicago, so there is some upside for whoever wins the starting job in Baltimore. Fantasy-wise, rookie tight ends are notoriously disappointing, so this may be a muddled situation this season.
There will some ambiguity at tight end because it’s too early to know if Dennis Pitta will play or if rookie Maxx Williams will be ready to take on a big role. However, second-year player Crockett Gillmore remains the likely candidate to start because he’s the closest thing that the Ravens have to a two-way tight end after he spent the offseason working on his quickness and receiving skills.
Since 1998, 47 tight ends have been drafted in the first two rounds, and a grand total of one (Jeremy Shockey) scored at a TE1-type rate when compared to the position’s production in 2014. Six more scored at a rate good enough to crack the top 18, so the odds are against Williams making much of a fantasy impact in 2015. However, there are a couple of things working in his favor. He has a great opportunity for snaps if Pitta is unable to play (and be effective) this season, and he’s playing in a very pass-friendly offense (under OC Marc Trestman) for a team that is looking for playmakers at receiver.
Pitta hasn't been medically cleared by doctors and his career is in doubt as he tries to return from his second fractured and dislocated right hip within the past two years.
We're not counting on Pitta's return but it's a situation to monitor. His potential return would impact the amount of playing time rookie Maxx Williams will get in 2015.
“It’s just a whole different scheme,” Williams said. “In Minnesota, we were going to run power all day and just run play action. That’s all we did unless we had a drop-back. For me, it’s really just kind of learning a brand-new playbook, so it is starting off fresh where I don’t really have any old habits."
Rookie tight ends are notoriously disappointing, but if Dennis Pitta is out, Williams will have a tremendous opportunity to produce in Marc Trestman's offense. Crockett Gilmore is also in the mix.
If Pitta starts the season on PUP, he won't be eligible to play in the first six games. It's not often that rookie tight ends are fantasy relevant. It's a tough position to learn and since it's a "onesie" position in most fantasy leagues, there isn't a ton of demand. Maxx Williams has a chance to be a factor at the position given the opportunity he has for playing time in Marc Trestman's pass-happy offense. Under Trestman, Martellus Bennett finished as the #10 and #5 TE in both PPR and standard formats in the last two seasons. If Williams has a great summer, he may be TE2-worthy in fantasy drafts.
It’s still too early to know exactly when TE Dennis Pitta will be back on Sundays, but he’s back alongside his teammates at practice and feeling pretty good. Those ruling him out for 2015 should take pause.
Asked point blank whether he’ll play this season, Pitta rolled his eyes and chuckled.
“I’m optimistic,” he said. “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.”
In terms of the injury being healed, Pitta is 100 percent. In terms of him being back in football shape, he’s not there yet. He can run and cut, he said. He’s running routes and catching passes.
“I’m certainly encouraged by what I’m able to do on the field,” he said. “Being out there, running routes, catching the football, that’s what I love to do. So it’s fun to be able to do that a little bit.”
We're going to wait and see how Pitta's offseason progresses before counting him in for 2015. His potential recovery will have a big impact on Maxx Williams' playing time and upside in Marc Trestman's pass-happy offense.
“We felt like the tight end was someone we really wanted,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “This offense we’ll be running is very tight end friendly.”
The Ravens lost Owen Daniels to free agency and Dennis Pitta is very iffy for the season as he recovers from a bad hip injury, so Williams is a need pick. If his offseason goes well, he could start immediately in new OC Marc Trestman’s pass-happy offense. This means he could be fantasy relevant as a rookie, a rarity for a rookie tight end.
- Page 1