Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta is still a ways away from returning to the field, if he does at all in 2013, after a fractured and dislocated hip required surgery to repair in preseason, but his progress is encouraging the team's higher-ups, including head coach John Harbaugh.
On Friday, Harbaugh spoke to the media, including Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun, about the progress Pitta has made:
"I got to be honest with you, I'm pretty impressed," head coach John Harbaugh said. "He's running quite a bit in here on these machines and he's already catching passes. That's a ways away time-wise. Every time I see Dennis, I got mixed emotions. I'm happy he's doing so well and I'm not happy that he's not already out there playing right now. He's doing a good job."
Pitta, 28, caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, and the Ravens have struggled to replace that production in their offense. Fourth-year tight end Ed Dickson has managed just three catches for 25 yards and veteran Dallas Clark has tallied 16 receptions for 175 yards, but neither has been able to score a touchdown.
No timetable has been given for Pitta, who caught passes in front of the JUGS machine at practice on Friday. He's currently on the team's injured reserve with a designation to return, meaning he'll be eligible to get back on Nov. 3 for a game against the Cleveland Browns.