After missing the first 12 games of the season with a fractured and dislocated hip, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta didn't miss a beat, hauling in six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore's wild 29-26 win over Minnesota on Sunday.
His touchdown with 2:05 left in the game appeared to be the game-winner at the time, as it was fairly inconceivable that an additional four touchdowns would be scored after that in the snow and ice that had accumulated on the field at M&T Bank Stadium.
After Joe Flacco was unable to connect with Pitta on his first three targets, the fourth-year tight end out of BYU settled in and became the reliable receiving option the organization has become used to seeing on the football field.
Seeing 36 of the offense's 85 snaps, Pitta showed no ill signs of injury, getting hit often and landing on the hip he injured during training camp. It's definitely a good sign for the offense moving forward.
Pitta met with the media after Baltimore's win. Here's what he had to say:
On if he got more of a feel for the game as it went on: "I think [in] the first half, the conditions were pretty brutal. The footing was terrible, the game was just so slow, and it made it tough to do anything effectively offensively. Second half, they kind of cleared the field off, and the snow let up, and it was more of a freezing rain. Actually, the footing was much better, so the game picked up, certainly in the last two minutes."
On if he planned to play this much: "We stuck to the plan. I was anticipating being able to play this much. I think when we have that many two-minute opportunities, those are situations where I am going to be in the ball game. We didn't anticipate we would be getting so many of them, especially at the end. But I felt good throughout the game and didn't think about my hip, which is encouraging going forward, and [I] was able to just go out and play."
On it being a dramatic return: "It's great to be back. I didn't think my first game back would be in those conditions, and I didn't really start the game the way I wanted to. The footing was bad, and I dropped one early. I was mad at myself for that. I was able to kind of bounce back. When the conditions improved, we really started moving offensively."
On how rewarding it was to make an impact: "It feels pretty good. I remember when I got injured, I didn't know if I was even going to play football again, and so being able to stand here and talk about a victory and being a part of that is special for me. And just being a part of this team and being able to fight the way we did today is pretty remarkable."
On his touchdown catch: "Actually, the defense wasn't really what we liked from that play. I think I was able to get open in some man-to-man coverage, and Joe [Flacco] did a good job of putting the ball on me where I could make a play. It was always tough to catch the ball away from your body today because of the conditions and the wetness, but he did a good job putting it on me, and we were able to get what I thought was the game-winning score at the time, but [it] ended up being just one of many."