The Ravens are keeping the door open for tight end Dennis Pitta to return this season.
The team placed the fourth-year tight end on injured reserve – designated to return Wednesday, which is the same designation used last year on linebacker Ray Lewis.
Each team can use the special injured reserve tag on one player. For Pitta to get the designation speaks to the importance the Ravens place on Pitta and the optimism they have in his ability to overcome a serious injury.
In a corresponding roster move, the Ravens brought back veteran tight end Billy Bajema to the 53-man roster.
Pitta suffered a fractured and dislocated hip during the first week of training camp, which was initially considered a season-ending injury. Additional tests revealed that Pitta did not suffer any structural or ligament damage, so the Ravens wanted to give him a chance to come back this season.
By placing him on IR-designated to return, Pitta could return to the active roster after Week 6.
"I would love to play this season," Pitta said last week. "I think there's a possibility of me coming back. There's also the possibility that I won't be back until next season. I'm prepared for both decisions. Right now, I'm taking it day-to-day and doing everything they allow me to do. I'm getting stronger every day."
Bajema, the blocking tight end from last year's Super Bowl team, will be used as a special teams player and No. 3 tight end behind Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark.