Pitta Has Sense Of Humor With Halloween Costume, Gives Injury Update
Just because Dennis Pitta is trying to overcome a career-threatening hip injury* *doesn't mean he can't have some fun with it.
The Ravens tight end dressed up as a patient in a gown and wheelchair at the Ravens' Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party last night. It's a nod to the role Pitta has been playing since his second hip surgery in as many seasons.
His wife, Mataya, dressed as his nurse, and his son, Decker, sported a white doctor's coat.
"This is very circumstantial-appropriate right now. I'm wheelchair-ridden and on crutches, so I'm playing off that a little bit," Pitta told The Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli.
It's been about five weeks since Pitta reportedly underwent successful surgery to repair his second fractured and dislocated hip, but doctors still don't know whether it will prevent Pitta from playing the game of football again.
"It's tough," Pitta told Meoli. "I have to be patient right now, I have to let myself heal and take it one day at a time and begin my rehab and work hard doing that when I can. It's a tough process and something, unfortunately, I have been through before and will get through again.
"In a few months, we'll see how I'm feeling and how things are going, and we'll be able to make some determinations then. It's still too early to kind of tell, and I'll continue on like I did last year and get myself ready to get back on the field."
After missing the first 12 games of the 2013 season, Pitta was able to return to the field after his first hip injury. He played well enough for the Ravens to give him a new five-year deal, reportedly worth $32 million, last offseason.
He said that first process also had plenty of uncertainty. He didn't know whether he'd ever be able to return, and eventually did. So, the fifth-year veteran is practicing patience and optimism as he starts over again.
Pitta still has a few weeks before he even begins active rehabilitation. Per Meoli, the first few months after surgery require letting the hip heal naturally.
"With an injury like this, I think there's always doubt and there's always uncertainty," Pitta said. "That was the case last year. I didn't know if I'd be able to make the full recovery and get back on the field, and it'll be the same this time. It's a pretty serious injury, and something that takes time to heal and something that has to heal correctly in order to get back out there. So I'm being patient, we'll see when that time comes."
Will Ravens Trade For CB Before Deadline?
The NFL trade deadline is upon us, with teams having until 4 p.m. today to pull the trigger.
And with the Ravens dangerously thin at cornerback with only three players healthy, one wonders if the front office will make a move.
"Sure, the Ravens would love to trade for a cornerback before [the] deadline," wrote The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "But there isn't much quality available."
If the Ravens don't make a trade, or pull in somebody from the free-agent market, they will go into Pittsburgh Sunday with only Lardarius Webb, Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks. Having only three healthy corners is a concern as Pittsburgh is coming off a game where quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 522 yards.
Baltimore is already missing Asa Jackson (toe) and Jimmy Smith, who sprained his foot last week in Cincinnati.
Even if another team was willing to make a trade, the Ravens aren't the only ones in need of a corner. As CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora several teams lost a star last week at the position. In addition to Smith, the Colts lost Vontae Davis, Cardinals lost Patrick Peterson and Bears lost Kyle Fuller.
How tough of a loss is Smith for the Ravens? ESPN's Jamison Hensley puts it in perspective.
"Of all the Baltimore Ravens defensive players, the last one they could afford to lose to injury is Smith," he wrote. "He is the best player at the Ravens' weakest position. He is the only defensive back on the team who could be counted upon to consistently limit receivers. He is having the best season of any Ravens cornerback since Chris McAlister eight years ago."
Meanwhile, there was some small buzz on social media about the Ravens wanting to trade running back Bernard Pierce after he was inactive last week against the Bengals. There doesn't seem to be any substance behind that, however.
The NFL isn't like the NBA or MLB, where trades are much more common. So don't be surprised if there are little to no moves made across the league today.
"NFL trade deadline summary: every team has multiple injuries/needs, none have surplus players & none want to trade draft picks. Gridlock," wrote WJZ's Mark Viviano.
Torrey An 'Interception Magnet'
Quarterback Joe Flacco has seven interceptions this season. And five of those came on passes intended for receiver Torrey Smith, including two last Sunday in Cincy.
"In a span of a year, Torrey Smith] went from Flacco's top target to an [interception magnet," wrote Hensley.
Those five interceptions are tied with Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in terms of targeting a receiver.
The five picks came on just 42 passes thrown to Smith, while Flacco only threw two interceptions while throwing 237 passes to the rest of his receivers. Flacco and Smith have connected on just 46.2 percent of targets.
"There has been a disconnect with Flacco and Smith a year after Smith led the Ravens with 65 receptions," Hensley wrote.
Rice Grievance Leads To Ravens Cap Charge
The NFL placed a $1,411,765 charge against the Ravens' salary cap to reflect the pending Ray Rice grievance against the team, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"It's considered a normal practice for the NFL to hold salary cap space on a team until a grievance is resolved," wrote Schefter.
The charge was levied against the Ravens earlier this month. Per the report, the $1.4 million represents six game checks of the $4 million salary Rice was supposed to get before being released in November.
The Ravens now reportedly have $4.133 million in cap space.
- Who is the team to beat in the AFC North? There is a legitimate argument for each. [NFL.com]