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Dennis Pitta 'Fully Recovered' But Future Is Unclear

Posted Feb 18, 2015

Dennis Pitta's hip has fully recovered, but whether he plays football again is up to him and doctors.

Tight end Dennis Pitta’s hip has fully recovered, but it’s still unknown whether he’ll play professional football again.

On Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Head Coach John Harbaugh said “there’s nothing definitive” on his status.

“It’s between Dennis and the doctors right now,” Harbaugh said. “I’ve got my fingers crossed, but only for what’s best for Dennis. There’s no way in the world that you want anything other than the fact that he can be safe.”

Pitta suffered his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many years on Sept. 21 during a Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns. It sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Pitta had surgery and has been rehabilitating the injury since. He can walk normally.

“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, so he’s in great position to live a great life, which is the main thing,” Harbaugh said.

“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.”

Pitta originally fractured and dislocated his hip during training camp in 2013. He made a remarkable recovery and missed just the first 12 games of the season. Pitta returned to catch 20 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown.

The Ravens invested in Pitta, who was set to be an unrestricted free agent, with a five-year contract worth a reported $32 million the following offseason. They signed him because he had proven to be a dynamic pass catcher and quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite target.

Now the Ravens will just wait and see whether Pitta can play out the rest of that contract or wants to retires.

“We have nothing to lose by just letting it play out,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got a guaranteed contract for next year. So financially he’s in good shape. We’ll just have to see where it goes. We’ll just plan accordingly.”

The Ravens may need to invest more heavily at tight end in the draft or free agency with Pitta’s status in limbo. Last year’s leading tight end, Owen Daniels, is a pending unrestricted free agent. Last year’s third-round rookie, Crockett Gillmore, is the only tight end guaranteed to return.

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