Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said he spoke with trainers about Dennis Pitta’s status this week, and their main message was that an answer on his availability won’t come until this summer. The Ravens likely won’t wait until they get that definitive answer to spur into action.
“Are we going to try to add some tight ends to this offense? Yes,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Newsome’s comment made it clear that the Ravens will look outside the building to bring in new pieces over the next few months. This year’s draft is considered thin at the position, but the Ravens will keep a close eye on prospects who could help the offense this fall.
Dennis Pitta’s status came up again with Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Wednesday, but there’s no more clarity about the situation. Harbaugh said there’s “really nothing definitive” from doctors at this point regarding Pitta’s ability to return to the field and that he only wants Pitta to be able to do what’s best for Pitta.
“His hip is fully recovered in the sense that the blood flow is there and there’s no lingering problem from either one of the injuries,” Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. “So, he’s in great position to live a great life, which is the main thing. Whether it goes to the next step and he wants or is able to play football, that will be up to them. I’m like you. I’m waiting to hear.”
The Ravens need to deal with free agent Owen Daniels and make plans for the position that don’t include Pitta, but Pitta’s guaranteed $4 million contract means there’s no specific time pressure looming over the ultimate decision about his future.
It sounds as if the team are in 'wait-and-see' mode. For now, add the Ravens to the list of teams looking to shore up the tight end position.
Pitta, who has suffered serious hip injuries in each of the past two seasons, saw a couple of specialists last week, and Harbaugh said he couldn't give any updates right now.
"I did get kind of an overview of that report from our trainer that I wouldn’t really want to share until Dennis has had a chance to kind of consider all of the ramifications of it," Harbaugh said. "But I think we’ll have something on that in a couple of weeks, kind of on Dennis’ time frame. We’ll see where that goes.”
Harbaugh indicated in early December that he expects Pitta to make a full recovery, and he said at the end of the season that he was "cautiously optimistic" about his return in 2015.
In a run-heavy offense that stresses safer passes for quarterback Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith was never a strong bet to repeat last year's production. After leading the team in 2013 with 65 catches and 1,128 receiving yards, though, he's on pace for just 453 yards and 32 grabs in 2014.
"You can't get any closer than we've already been," Torrey said of his chemistry with Flacco, per The Baltimore Sun. "I have folks tweeting me how terrible I am, and I could very easily have had three touchdowns and 300 yards the past couple weeks. That's how the ball rolls. I'm not used to it, but we'll get over it soon. We were as close as you can get to touchdowns. We just have to be on the same page and get it done."
Said Torrey: "It'll happen. It has no choice but to happen. The way we've been practicing, it has no choice but to happen. I can't say when. I hope it's Sunday, but it'll happen soon."
With the focus on Steve L Smith's revenge game against the Panthers, it would be a good time for Flacco to connect on one or two deep balls to Torrey Smith. We're not counting on it, but he's a better player than he's showed in the first three weeks and Dennis Pitta's absence may send a few extra targets his way.
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:33pm
Ravens TE Owen Daniels (not injury related, probable) returned to take full practice reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is probable for Week 4. He’s expected to play heavy snaps with Dennis Pitta sidelined.
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:48pm
Ravens TE Owen Daniels (not injury related) was added to the injury report Thursday after missing practice. Daniels may just be getting a day off. He’s expected to play heavy snaps with Dennis Pitta sidelined.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 12:01pm
Ravens TE Owen Daniels will become the starter with Dennis Pitta out, and he has shown in the past that he can handle the job. He started all but four games he played in during his eight years with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston, and had two Pro Bowl seasons (2008, 2012).
Daniels has proven he can be relied on this season as well. He’s been targeted 12 times and caught 10 of those passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns through three games. Only running back Justin Forsett (15 targets, 13 receptions) has a better reception percentage on the Ravens.
The question with Daniels is how well his body will hold up over the course of a long season. He sat out two weeks of practice and missed three preseason games due to fatigued legs. Now those legs will have to carry a heavier load, the story points out. Crockett Gillmore and fullback Kyle Juszczyk could also see time but Daniels is the most experienced and as long as he can stay healthy should be the fantasy option to target if you're looking for a TE. The hope for owners would be Daniel at least used as the main red zone target among the options available.
Pitta dislocated his right hip for the second time in the past year, getting hurt without being touched during the second quarter of Sunday's 23-21 win over the Cleveland Browns.
This is a major setback for Pitta, one that probably ends his season and casts doubt on his career outlook.
Pitta will remain in a Cleveland hospital this week, according to sources.
Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip during training camp last year and missed all but the final four games of the 2013 regular season. The story points out that when Pitta underwent surgery on his hip last year, doctors told the 2010 fourth-round draft pick that the chance of recurrence was extremely low because of the rarity of the injury and how well the procedure and rehabilitation went. As we said Sunday night, the Ravens will turn toward two-time Pro Bowl tight end Owen Daniels as well as rookie tight end Crockett Gillmore. They could also utilize fullback Kyle Juszczyk, a former H-back and tight end at Harvard.
Pitta dislocated his right hip for the second time in just more than a year, and it’s feared that he may have also sustained a fracture. But an initial diagnosis revealed no fracture, according to sources. If Pitta’s hip is fractured, he would need surgery and likely would be out for the season.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 8:30pm
Daniels caught only one pass for 6 yards in the preseason because he missed the final three games with what he called a hamstring injury. The two-time Pro Bowl player didn't show much explosion off the line or separation from defenders in training camp, which raised doubts about how he would fit in the team's game plan heading into Sunday's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I’m just going to do what I can, whatever I’m asked to do," Daniels said after Tuesday's practice. "Hopefully, I’ll be out there a bunch. Hopefully, we’ll run a lot of two-tight end sets and keep defenses off balance. I think Dennis [Pitta] and I complement each other very well, especially when we’re out on the field together. But whether it’s blocking in the running game or pass protection or moving the chains, I’m here to do a job and do it well."
Harbaugh insisted Daniels wasn't injured, saying the 31-year-old tight end was dealing with swelling and leg fatigue. So far he hasn't been impressive in what was supposed to be an impressive 2 TE formation with Dennis Pitta. We're going to need to see a lot more from Daniels before he becomes fantasy lineup worthy.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 11:29am
The Ravens first-team line hasn’t allowed a sack in six possessions over two games. The zone stretch running game is booming, leading the NFL in yards per game. Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has QB Joe Flacco throwing to his fullback, tight ends, receivers.
A year ago, Flacco was sacked almost 50 times, constantly under duress. His favorite wideout was gone from the huddle, traded during the offseason. His favorite tight end was injured. His passing game was predictable. His running game was missing in action.
Not only is the offense rebuilt around him with a better line, more playmakers and a topnotch coordinator, but Flacco is 29 years old, in the prime of his career, his seventh season as a starter.
The writer predicted Flacco would have his best season ever this year. Keep in mind, this is from the Ravens web site, but there are some good points, especially about the offensive line. Perhaps even more important, Flacco has some targets to work with and gets TE Dennis Pitta back. Flacco is rarely mentioned as a fantasy QB1, and is currently ranked 24th on our list. He could end up with QB2 value or give you some committee starts this season, though.
Dennis Pitta's snaps and targets are safe. Draft him with confidence as a solid TE1. Gary Kubiak has a long history of featuring the tight end in his offense.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:41pm
Monday, August 11, 2014, 10:59am
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:22pm
Pitta did not appear to be injured Saturday, though he was involved in some particularly physical pass blocking plays with the 49ers defense.
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