Consistently getting open in the middle of the field, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta caught nine passes for 102 yards. In just his second game back after a nearly two-year absence, he produced his second-most receiving yards of his career.
"I see what Dennis is doing and, man, I'm inspired," Ravens wide receiver Steve L Smith Sr. said. "It's great to play with a guy like that. To see how he's playing after what he went through, and seeing him shifty and being the old Dennis, it's fantastic."
The chemistry between Pitta and quarterback Joe Flacco is remarkable considering they haven't been on the field together much. Pitta didn't play all of last year, and he missed a month of training camp with a fractured finger. When Pitta practiced during the spring, Flacco was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery.
Flacco threw to Pitta five times on third downs, completing four passes (all led to first downs). No one else on the Ravens caught more than two throws on third down. Pitta certainly seems worth a pickup if you're struggling at the position as the chemistry aspect should only get better the longer they can remain on the field together. The Ravens' other tight ends -- Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams -- have combined for two catches for 27 yards. Comparatively, Pitta has a team-leading 12 receptions for 141 yards through the first two weeks of the season.
Friday, September 9, 2016, 5:48pm
Thursday, September 8, 2016, 7:04pm
Pitta had not practiced since Aug. 1 when he broke a finger on his right hand in a scuffle. With the season-ending Achilles tear suffered by Benjamin Watson in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 27, and Darren Waller and Nick Boyle to begin serving multiple-game suspensions, the presence of Pitta – who had a red, non-contact jersey tucked into the rear waistband of his shorts – was a welcome sight for the team. Second-year tight end Maxx Williams also returned, from an unspecified ailment, the story said.
Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams have all made their marks with the Ravens. They all can be the No. 1 tight end, and they would likely split snaps and targets if they can avoid issues that have sidelined them in the past.
This obviously isn't a great fantasy situation. Right now, Gillmore has had the most practice time and would probably have the edge at least to start the season. Pitta and Williams have just returned, but Pitta hasn't played a game since Week 3 of 2014. Williams was the top TE drafted in 2015 but just needs to stay healthy to get a chance. Pitta has been a top red zone target for QB Joe Flacco and that may be a place where he stands out. This is looking like a wait-and-see fantasy situation and perhaps one to avoid until we learn more.
The Ravens’ depth at tight end took a major hit when Benjamin Watson was lost for the season with a torn Achilles.
But they’re getting closer to getting some of it back.
Tight end Dennis Pitta has a broken finger stemming from his practice fight with rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa on Aug. 1 and he will continue to miss time as the bone heals, Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Monday.
Pitta suffered the injury during the open practice at M&T Bank Stadium Aug. 1, and it was initially believed to be a strain. But further testing revealed he had a fracture, and he has not practiced since getting hurt.
“It’s absurd that it happened,” Harbaugh said. “We need to get him back as soon as we can, but it’s not going to be this week. A bone has to heal.”
It's tough luck for Pitta who is working his way back from a second hip surgery. In addition to losing the veteran tight end for nearly all of training camp, there is also a concern with that the injury could linger once he does get back on the field. The Ravens are deep at TE with Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams.
Training camp injuries to Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Daniel Brown and Pitta have left the Ravens with three healthy tight ends at times, including two, Darren Waller and Nick Boyle, who will miss the first four and 10 games, respectively, for violating the NFL drug policy.
It hasn't stopped offensive coordinator Marc Trestman from calling plays for his tight ends.
The tight ends responded with 11 catches for 105 yards, including five for 48 yards by Waller, a converted wide receiver, the story said. Watson has been one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets throughout training camp. Watson will likely open the season as one of the starting tight ends, along with Gillmore, who returned to practice Monday after missing most of training camp with a hamstring injury. Pitta remains sidelined with a sprained finger, the story all said.
By the end of Monday's practice, the Ravens were left with just one tight end (Benjamin Watson) who wasn't injured or facing suspension, and nearly half of their wide receivers are sidelined.
The Ravens' tight end group was hit hard again Monday, when Maxx Williams and Daniel Brown both left practice early. Williams suffered a noncontact injury, and Brown took a vicious shot to the chin from cornerback Sam Brown.
Coach John Harbaugh initially indicated Williams' injury wasn't serious.
Crockett Gillmore injured his hamstring on July 29 and hasn't returned. Dennis Pitta has been out since spraining his finger on Monday. With Williams and Brown hurt, the Ravens were down to Watson, Darren Waller and Nick Boyle in Monday's practice.
Tight end Dennis Pitta, who sprained his finger in a scuffle during Monday’s open practice at M&T Bank Stadium, is out as expected.
Pitta didn’t practice at all last year as his twice-broken and dislocated hip was never well enough for him to get on the field. Pitta contemplated retirement in the offseason, but restructured his contract with the team in order to give it another go.
After the first two practices, Pitta told reporters that he’s not thinking about his hip unless he’s being asked about it and that he feels his chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t suffered as a result of his long layoff.
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta was one of the more active and productive offensive players for the past couple of weeks. Pitta is moving well and caught just about everything thrown in his direction. He’s always going to be at risk of reinjuring his hip, but for now, Pitta feels good and looks like he can be a significant contributor.
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.
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