Just short of making it official, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said tight end Dennis Pitta will probably head to the injured reserve-designated to return list early next week.
"I think early next week, Tuesday or Wednesday, we have to make that decision, and I would say things are progressing favorably towards [the IR-designated to return designation]," Harbaugh told reporters on Friday. "He's doing a really good job. I saw him today, and he spent some time with Steve Bisciotti today, too. So, he's working really hard, and he's had no setbacks, and there's optimism there."
Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip early in training camp. His initial prognosis was that he'd be out for the season. But once it was discovered he didn't sustain any ligament damage, Harbaugh and the front office decided to wait it out and see how his initial recovery went.
(On a side note, to read about Pitta's account of the injury, check out Kevin Byrne's feature on him at BaltimoreRavens.com. It made me wince reading through it.
In the story, Pitta tells Byrne, "I think there's a possibility of me coming back. There's also the possibility that I won't be back until next season. I'm prepared for both decisions. Right now, I'm taking it day-to-day and doing everything they allow me to do. I'm getting stronger every day.")
Putting Pitta on IR-designated to return could be tough since it would use of that move for the entire season. Each team only gets to do that one time.
But Pitta is a key component on offense. If there's a chance Pitta could return this season, it's probably the right move to make for the organization.
"You've got to weigh [using the designation this early], but you can't predict and deal in hypotheticals," Harbaugh said. "Dennis is a great player, in our opinion, and this is an opportunity that seems like it might make sense for him."
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