Earliest Return For Dennis Pitta Will Be Midseason


Tight end Dennis Pitta will begin the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, per Head Coach John Harbaugh. 

That means the earliest Pitta will be suiting up in Week 7, Oct. 26, against the Arizona Cardinals.

"He's not going to be activated for the beginning of our regular season," Harbaugh said. "We'd be talking about a midseason- type of a thing if we did it, so we'll just have to see where that goes."

Pitta is returning from his second hip dislocation, fracture and surgery in as many years. He participated in individual and positional drills during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp, but has been on the PUP list since training camp began.

Harbaugh said "nothing has changed" with regard to Pitta's status.

"There's more to it than just, 'Can he play?,'" Harbaugh said. "'Should he play? Will he be cleared to play? And what is being cleared to play entail in terms of liability and things like that? There's a lot to it that has to be worked out."

In May, Pitta said he was "optimistic" about playing this year. In three days, it will be 11 months since Pitta suffered the injury, without contact, in a Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns.

Pitta's last productive season was in 2012 when he caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns. He was signed to a five-year contract the following offseason and his salary is guaranteed this year.

Quarterback Joe Flacco said earlier in camp that he is “unfortunately” used to life without Pitta.

"I get the impression that [Pitta] wants to play," Harbaugh said. "He's rehabbing like crazy. But he has to make the decision if it's the best thing for him going forward."

Harbaugh also confirmed reports that first-round rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who has been out since July 30, had an MRI on his injured knee and it came back "normal."

"We were looking for anything," Harbaugh said. "It's just gone slower than our doctor's anticipated that it would, so we wanted to get an MRI, and see if there was something in there that we didn't know about, and there wasn't. It was normal. [There is] still a little bit of swelling and still a little bit of sprain – that's what they call it – and we just have to keep working on it and get him back."

Another rookie, guard Robert Myers, returned to the practice field after missing two weeks due to a concussion. Second-year guard/center John Urschel is not back yet, however. Harbaugh said he's getting "closer and closer" and that his math skills are still apparently on point.

"You're told when you get a concussion not to listen to certain things, not to read certain things, not to study certain things, not to do some certain things that might hurt the concussion part of the brain," Harbaugh said. "So, my man goes out like the second day afterwards and does high level math problems just to see where he's at.

"I'm going to tell the guys tonight in the meeting, 'Listen guys, for all you guys that may get a little concussion issue. You want to go out and do the high level math, alright? You want to do those trigonomic [sic], algebraic equations, we're putting an end to that right now on our team. We'll have no more of that.'"

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