Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta returned to the practice field on Wednesday, a significant step for the 28-year-old after many believed this summer that he might be out for the season following hip surgery that he underwent in late July.
According to the report Wednesday from Jamison Hensley of ESPN, the Ravens remain mum on whether Pitta will return to the field for a game this season. Baltimore now has three weeks to decide whether to activate Pitta, the team's leading returning pass catcher, to its 53-man roster. If they opt against activating him, the Ravens will be forced to sit him for the rest of the season.
Pitta said Wednesday he feels "great" but also recognized that he needs to be at an "elite level" before he can return to game-action:
"I feel great. I'm going to take it slow, though, to make sure I can integrate myself back in. I got to be able to play at an elite level and that's what it takes to play in this league. We'll see how the next few weeks go and see how I progress and how I'm doing on the field. I'm not sure as of right now that timetable."
He had dislocated his hip July 27, the Ravens' first contact practice of training camp, and was subsequently placed on the injured-reserve-designated-to-return list. Last season for the Super Bowl champion Ravens, Pitta had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.
In his absence, Baltimore has used Dallas Clark - who has 27 catches, 311 yards and three touchdowns - and Ed Dickson. The Ravens, currently 4-6, begin a three-game stint at home starting by playing host to the New York Jets on Sunday. SI WIRE: Ed Reed says clashes with Wade Phillips led to his release