Broken Finger Tests Ravens Patience With Dennis Pitta


Dennis Pitta Still isn’t practicing. This has to test the patience of the Ravens.

Remember the scene at the end of Top Gun where Maverick threw Goose’s dog tags off the air craft carrier and into the ocean. Dennis Pitta’s roster spot officially became those dog tags.

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Pitta became a budding star during the 2012 regular season and into the Ravens amazing Super Bowl run. Everyone loves tight ends, and he was no exception. Pitta caught 75 balls including 10 for touchdowns in the regular season and playoffs combined.

Then, Maverick hit the jet wash, and Goose didn’t make it home after that flight. Since the Super Bowl where he caught a touchdown, Pitta has only played in seven games in three seasons.

Injuries derailed his promising career, but Ozzie Newsome restructured his contract to give him another chance at a comeback in April. Unfortunately, Pitta repaid this extreme loyalty by breaking his finger while fighting with rookie LB Kamalei Correa during practice on August 1.

On Monday, Coach Harbaugh told the media that additional tests confirmed the full extent of the injury. The Ravens initially believed it was only a strain, but either way, Pitta continues to not practice. Practice that he definitely needs after failing to play at all last season.

Getting injured while fighting with a teammate squashes the lingering desire to see Dennis Pitta return. Luckily, the Ravens came up with a contingency plan this year by signing Ben Watson. While playing for the Saints last season, the 35-year-old Watson delivered his best statistical season.

Regrettably, we will never answer the what ifs. An injury free Pitta could have become a superstar tight end. He could have stabilized the receiving group when Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith left. Maverick and Goose could have beat out Iceman and Slider to get their names on that plaque.

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It clearly is time for Ozzie Newsome to take a walk down a pier and fondly remember the 2012 Dennis Pitta and what he meant to the team. He needs to thank him for what he did and for the memories of that great season. But then he needs to rear back and throw that roster spot in the deepest part of the Chesapeake. Pitta will always be a Super Bowl hero, but the competition for roster spot is tight.