Osemele Says Back Injury Affecting His Play
Second-year left guard Kelechi Osemele confirmed to reporters in the locker room that he expects to have surgery in the offseason to repair a back issue that has plagued him the last two seasons.
"Obviously I've been dealing with it for a while and it's getting to the point where eventually I'm going to have to go ahead and get that fixed," Osemele said. "I was avoiding it for as long as I could, gambling with it, but I just can't afford to gamble with it any longer."
Osemele has played through the back issue this year, starting every game of the year. Back spasms forced him to come out of the Miami game in Week 5 after the opening series, but he has played every other offensive snap this season.
Osemele did admit that the injury was impacting his performance.
"It's affected my power," he said. "I'm an offensive lineman, I need to have strong legs. Obviously it's affecting me."
Head Coach John Harbaugh praised Osemele earlier this week for playing through the pain, and the left guard said he plans to play through the issue until getting it taken care of after the season.
"Right now I'm just trying to help my team win and they feel like I'm the best chance to win games at my position so I'm just going to deal with it," he said.
No Setbacks With Dennis Pitta
A recent report from ESPN's Ed Werder said that tight end Dennis Pitta was targeting a mid-to-late November return after dislocating his hip in training camp.
Harbaugh did not comment on the report specifically, but did say that the tight end is making progress in his recovery.
"That sounds similar to what was said in August when we first heard the timeframe," Harbaugh said. "So nothing has changed as far as I know. Everything is on schedule. There have been no setbacks with Dennis, so we'll just have to see how it goes."
Pitta has been out on the field during practice in recent weeks, catching passes off the JUGS machine and watching from the sideline during the portion open to the media. He is eligible to return from injured reserve when the Ravens make the decision to get him back into the full swing of practice.
"Until we get him on the field and see him start running around, I think we'll know more then," Harbaugh said. "And I'm looking forward to that. That will be very interesting."
Good Chance Bynes Returns
Inside linebacker Josh Bynes missed Sunday's game against Pittsburgh after having surgery to clean out an infection in his finger. Bynes is out of the hospital and the Ravens hope he is able to return after the bye.
"I don't know if 'expected' is the right word. I guess I probably feel that way, but I don't want to speak because you never know with an infection," Harbaugh said. "But there's a good chance that he would be."
Bynes started the first six games of the season and veteran Jameel McClain took over the starting Will linebacker spot last week when he came off the Physically Unable To Perform list. McClain, Bynes and rookie Arthur Brown could all see time at Will linebacker once the Ravens come back from the bye.