The Ravens are in a holding pattern when it comes to Dennis Pitta.
The veteran tight end is working his way back from his second major hip injury in as many seasons, and the team likely won't have a clear answer on his availability for the next several months.
"Basically, we are in a wait-and-see [mode] with Dennis," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said this week. "We may not have any answer to that until we get into the summer."
Pitta suffered a fractured and dislocated hip in Week 3 against Cleveland. The injury occurred on a non-contact play where Pitta caught a pass out of the backfield and then simply turned to run upfield. He fell to the turf after his legs gave out on the turn, and he was then carted off the field with a second major injury to his right hip in 14 months.
In the seven games since first suffering the injury, Pitta had caught 36 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown.
The first time Pitta injured his hip was in training camp before the 2013 season, and doctors warned him then that his career could be over. He surprised the Ravens and the doctors with a rapid recovery to return to the field four months later, and now he has another difficult road ahead to make a second return to the NFL.
"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," Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the combine last week.
"Whether it goes to the next step and he wants or is able to play football, that will be up to them [Pitta family and doctors]. I'm like you; I'm waiting to hear."
From a roster standpoint, the Ravens do have some options with what they could do with Pitta. He could potentially open the season on the physically unable to perform list, giving him additional time to recover and ultimately play in 2015. He could also spend the year on injured reserve if he's not ready to return this year.
In either scenario, Pitta and the Ravens have time on their side, and the Ravens are already building contingency plans at tight end to account for all possibilities.