Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will start the 2015 regular season on the physically unable to perform list, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed today (Twitter link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). When it becomes official, the move will ensure that Pitta will remain on Baltimore’s reserve list for at least the first six weeks of the season.
After Week 6, players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player on the PUP list could theoretically return for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest. If the player doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, he’ll revert to season-ending injured reserve.
Pitta, 30, is trying to return from a fractured hip he sustained in Week 3 of last season. He suffered the same injury during training camp in July 2013, and this time around, his career could be in jeopardy. While the Ravens would welcome him back if he can return to the field later this season, the team likely won’t be counting on him to contribute down the stretch.
In parts of five seasons with the Ravens, Pitta has racked up 138 catches and 11 touchdowns – including career highs of 61 and seven, respectively, in 2012. The veteran tight end is entering the second season of a five-year, $32MM contract he signed with Baltimore last year.