clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Video: Former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta returns to practice field for Ravens

While his playing future is still up in the air, former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta has given his fans a glimmer of hope.

Pitta, who fractured and dislocated his right hip for the second time on Sept. 21, 2014, is running routes and catching passes in individual drills for the Baltimore Ravens during organized team activities this week.

The team posted video proof of his mobility on Thursday.

"Dennis is out there for about half the practice and he's doing a good job, too," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. "So, we're not counting him out at all."

According to the Sun, Pitta is not medically cleared for full-contact drills. That didn't stop him from jumping high and laying the ball over the goal post following a catch on Wednesday, the Sun reported; it's a positive sign for his surgically repaired hip.

As ESPN's Jamison Hensley explained, the next big decision for Baltimore regarding Pitta will come in late July. Then, the team will need to decide if he's healthy enough to practice at the start of training camp. If not, he'd be placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to save a spot on the active roster. Baltimore could activate him at any time, and if Pitta starts the season on the PUP list, he'd miss the first six games of the 2015 season.

Over the past two years, Pitta has played in just seven games and has 36 receptions for 294 yards and a touchdown in that span. He first fractured the hip during the opening day of training camp in 2013, then injured it again against Cincinnati last season.

This all came after the sixth-year pro had a breakout 2012 season and helped the Ravens win the NFL title in Super Bowl XLVII.

Pitta signed a five-year, $32 million deal with Baltimore last offseason, with $16 million guaranteed. That includes $4 million guaranteed this year regardless of whether he plays, according to the Sun's Aaron Wilson.

But with his future still unclear, the Ravens drafted a pair of tight ends — Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle — in this year's draft, and a third-year pick from last year, Crockett Gillmore, is the expected starter.

Still, there's hope Pitta's career isn't over.

"He's going to continue to work and he'll come back," Gillmore told ESPN. "Obviously, he's put up great numbers for us and we're better with him."

Email: bjudd@deseretdigital.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd