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Dennis Pitta Won't Play This Season


Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will not play this season and will be transferred to injured reserve.

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.

Pitta has, on multiple occasions, stressed how much he would like to return to the game he loves. Harbaugh said Monday that there was no doubt in his mind that Pitta would play if he could.

For that reason, Pitta will not be retiring. He will continue to rehab and try to strengthen his hip.

That doesn't necessarily mean Pitta will have a future in Baltimore even if he does return, however. While his salary was guaranteed in 2015, it's not next season, and the Ravens have three young tight ends already on the books.

Pitta showed all the signs of being a breakout offensive star in Baltimore following an excellent 2012 season. The 2010 fourth-round pick caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season, establishing himself as quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite target.

Pitta also caught 14 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns during Baltimore's Super Bowl XLVII run, including one touchdown in the championship game.

The BYU product's career was derailed, however, when he suffered his first dislocated and fractured hip during a training camp practice before the 2013 season. He made a quick rehab and returned for the final four games of that season and looked to be back to his old self.

The Ravens re-signed Pitta to a five-year deal that offseason with confidence that he could re-establish himself as an offensive building block.

However, Pitta went down with another major hip injury – this time without contact – in Week 3, on Sept. 21, 2014, in Cleveland. He has been rehabbing ever since.

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