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"I definitely do want to be on the field playing football," Pitta told Glenn Clark Radio this past week, via the team's official site. "That's something that I really want to happen."
He added: "Now, if it happens or not, I don't know yet, and as much as I want to be on the field, there's also an element of being smart and weighing the risks, which there certainly are big risks in my case. I'm going to do everything on my end to get out there and play, but it's not all in my hands. Some of it will be involving the doctors and what they have to say also. We've got a couple months to get that all ironed out and figure out what weâre going to do. I really couldnât tell you one way or the other right now."
The Ravens are obviously not holding out hope. Over the last few years, they've loaded up on drafted tight ends, including Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle, knowing how much quarterback Joe Flacco likes the security of a dependable option at the position. But Pitta has the type of rapport that is impossible to replace. This comeback attempt, just like the last one which ended in October, will be taken seriously.
Their younger players are coming along, but not as quickly as GM Ozzie Newsome would like. Williams, a second round pick likened to Jimmy Graham, caught 32 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown during his rookie season. Boyle, drafted in the fifth round, played sparingly despite a promising pre-draft slate. He caught 18 passes for 153 yards. Gillmore, a 2014 draft pick, led the pack with 33 catches for 412 yards and four scores.
Pitta dislocated his hip in each of the two seasons leading up to 2015. Doctors advised against him playing last year and the team officially shut him down in November.
If he does come back, the Ravens will have to figure out a re-worked contract. He's currently on the back end of a five-year, $32.5 million contract he signed in 2014 and is due $5 million this year.