After missing nearly the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will sit out for the year again in 2015, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Pitta, who started the season on the PUP list, began practicing three weeks ago, so he would have had to be activated to the 53-man roster today in order to avoid being placed on season-ending IR.
Pitta, who has suffered multiple major hip injuries, has been advised by doctors that it’s not safe to return to the NFL at this point, sources tell Zrebiec. Although Pitta hoped to return anyway, Ravens officials and the coaching staff wanted him to follow the advice of those doctors, to avoid risking re-injury.
While he won’t play this season, Pitta isn’t announcing his retirement from the NFL just yet, suggesting he’s hoping he can make a comeback in 2016. However, his contract with Baltimore will no longer feature any guaranteed money after this season, so his place on the roster won’t be secure, and the 30-year-old has previously suggested his career might be over if he can’t return this season.
Since recording career-best marks in receptions (61), yards (669), and touchdowns (7) in 2012, Pitta has appeared in just seven games for the Ravens, having seeing his career derailed by health issues. It was only about 20 months ago that the Ravens signed Pitta to a five-year, $32MM contract extension, which included $16MM in guaranteed salary. Needless to say, Pitta hasn’t been able to provide much production over the life of that contract so far, and with his cap hit set to jump to $7.2MM next year, he seems unlikely to continue playing in Baltimore.