Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and tight end Dennis Pitta are still besties, but their on-field connection is withering.
As Pitta continues to sit out after suffering his second fractured and dislocated hip in as many years, Flacco has been forced moved on to other, younger tight ends.
Pitta was once considered Flacco's favorite target. Now he's regretfully out of mind.
"To be honest with you, as unfortunate as it is, I've kind of become used to not having him out there," Flacco said Thursday.
Pitta has played in just seven games the past two seasons, with four starts. He returned for four games at the end of 2103 and started the first three games of 2014 before falling to the turf without contact.
Flacco and Pitta still often share meals in the team cafeteria together. They're still seemingly joined at the hip (no pun intended) when Flacco is on the practice sideline watching the second- or third-team offense.
After participating in individual and positional drills Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Pitta has sat out during minicamp and training camp as the team awaits word from doctors on whether he can play in full-team live action.
Flacco has been tasked with getting a very young tight end corps up to speed. Second-year player Crockett Gillmore is slated to be the starter, followed by rookies Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.
"It's been a while since I've had [Pitta] out there, but I think he's doing all you can, obviously, throughout the course of the day to work out and get healthy," Flacco said. "But we've got to rely on these young guys and focus on getting them better right now."