Pitta Increases Workload, ‘Feels Good’
Both Pitta and Head Coach John Harbaugh were non-committal about his official status, but they expressed optimism that he would be activated after recovering from a fractured hip suffered in training camp.
“I think he has a reasonable chance,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see.”
“It’s felt good,” Pitta said. “I feel like I’m able to do what I need to do, so we’ll keep seeing how it feels throughout the weekend.”
Pitta practiced all week, but it’s unknown whether he was a full or limited participant. He’s not currently on the 53-man roster and is therefore is not required to be listed on the injury report.
Pitta told reporters that he increased his practice intensity from when he first returned two weeks ago and that his surgically repaired hip has responded well.
“I’ve upped my workload a little bit this week just to kind of test it and see where it’s at,” he said. “It felt good all week. It’s nice to get back in it and go through full practices and stuff, so we’ll see.”
The weather could also be a consideration for Pitta and the Ravens. The forecast is calling for a wintery mix with possible snow and sleet, which could make for slick conditions at M&T Bank Stadium.
“That is probably something we will have to decide on Sunday,” Harbaugh said. “The footing on our field is pretty good. If we get ice or something like that, we will have to see.”
OLB Dumervil Doubtful
He suffered the injury last week against the Steelers, but he was able to come back and finish the game. The Ravens gave him time to rest this week in hopes he will be ready for Sunday.
“I think it’ll be a game-time [decision] on Sunday,” Harbaugh said. “Earlier in the week we felt he was going to make it. It’s not a guy that has to practice to play, so if he goes out there and feels like he can go, he will. If he doesn’t, he won’t.”
Four Players Listed As Questionable
The Ravens are also dealing with injuries to a pair of defensive starters, as defensive end
Stokley injured his knee against the Steelers, which forced him out of the game. He initially tried to return, but came back for just one play before determining he couldn’t play. Stokley has played in just five games this season because a thigh injury sidelined him during the middle of the season.
Smith is probable and told reporters that he is “fine” after sustaining a concussion on a big hit against Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell last week. Bell also suffered a concussion on the play.
Vikings Rule Out Ponder, Peterson Questionable
The Vikings are dealing with a few significant injuries, as they have ruled out starting quarterback Christian Ponder (concussion), tight end Kyle Rudolph and cornerback Josh Robinson (chest).
With Ponder out, veteran Matt Cassel will take over quarterback duties for Minnesota.
The other big injury concern for the Vikings is running back Adrian Peterson (groin), who missed practice time throughout the week. He is officially listed as questionable after sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday, and then returning as a limited participant Friday.
The Vikings also listed linebacker Larry Dean (knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (ankle) as questionable.
Minnesota has seven players listed as probable, including defensive ends Jared Allen (finger) and Everson Griffen (toe), running back Matt Asiate (sholder), defensive tackles Sharif Floyd (illness) and Fred Evans (knee), and safety Andrew Sendejo (toe).