BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24: Ed Dickson #84 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a touchdown pass in front of D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Although the breaking news from yesterday that Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta broke his hand, it was tempered a bit by the expectation that he should be ready to play by the time the regular season opens for the team. However, Pitts will miss the rest of Training Camp, including all four pre-season games prior to the September 10th season opener on Monday Night Football When the Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals.
Without the time to practice under controlled condition in camp plus game conditions in the exhibition season, Pitta will be way behind fellow tight end Ed Dickson in terms of readiness. This could be the opportunity that Dickson needs to secure his spot as the number one tight end in the Ravens offense.
(More on this new Ravens' dilemma after the 'Jump')
Up until this point, not only have Dickson and Pitta shared the position and the spotlight, Pitta may have held a slight edge as he appeared to become QB Joe Flacco's go-to receiver ast season. Originally drafted a round ahead of Pitta in the 2010 NFL Draft, Dickson has shown flashes of the athleticism that attracted the Ravens to him hin the first place, but over the course of the season it was Pitta's clutch hands that gave him the edge.
A story on BaltimoreRavens.com details the Pitta injury and the probability that Davon Drew may end up with many of the reps that Pitta previously had. However, expect to see Ed Dickson as the featured tight end in the Ravens offense and get a lot more looks from Flacco.
At the same time, it's much better to have this happen long before the season begins so the team can re-vamp its game-plan to either focus more on Dickson or allow Drew to get more comfortable with the additional reps and opportunities.