Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will miss the entirety of the 2013 NFL season. Pitta was carted off the field early during training camp practice on Saturday, and was later discovered that he had suffered a fractured hip. Any kind of hip injury is particularly debilitating for athletes, and it's no surprise to see him out.
Pitta is an integral part of the Ravens' offense and was expected to see an even bigger role in 2013 with Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco. Losing Pitta will be a major blow to what Baltimore expected to do offensively. If Pitta is indeed out for the remainder of the season, Ed Dickson will step into the role of Baltimore's top tight end.
Here's what else you may have missed from Saturday:
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during training camp on Saturday. He went down with the leg injury early in practice and was carted off the field. Maclin is in the final year of his rookie contract and that will definitely hurt his chances to get a big deal for next season, given that it's unlikely he plays this season.
Mike Kaye of Bleeding Green Nation talks about the impact it will have on Philly:
As far as the Eagles are concerned, a major injury to Maclin would be a pretty big blow. While the unit features a lot of talent, outside of DeSean Jackson, the depth mostly consists of good role players. Jackson isn't a conventional number one receiver or even a possession receiver, so the team will need a dependable set of hands opposite the former Pro Bowler. The immediate replacements on the roster would likely be Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson and Arrelious Benn. All three have their pluses and their minuses.
Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Ryan Miller was carted off the practice field and transported to a local hospital on Saturday. Miller went down early in practice and stayed on the ground for nearly 10 minutes. He was being tended to by trainers, and it was later reported that he suffered a severe concussion, but that he was likely to be released Saturday night.
The Seattle Seahawks claimed defensive end/outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield on Saturday. Schofield was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday after a couple disappointing seasons marred by injuries. Schofield spent four seasons in Arizona as a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Danny Kelly of Field Gulls likes the move for the Seahawks:
The bottom line with Schofield is that if he can get/stay healthy, he provides some nice depth at the position until Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin are able to return. He'll push rookies Ty Powell and Kenneth Boatright for the roster, I'd assume, while backing up Cliff Avril and perhaps K.J. Wright and/or Mike Morgan as hybrid LEO/SAM types. He certainly provides more experience at that spot for the first four weeks than a couple of rookies in Powell/Boatright would. I like the move, in theory, now it should be interesting to see how he does in the Seahawks' scheme.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew practiced for the first time since suffering a Lisfranc injury in October, and things went well. Taking part in the Saturday training camp practice did not cause Jones-Drew any pain, which is a big boost for a Jaguars team hoping to turn things around and with question marks elsewhere on offense.
The Buffalo Bills and wide receiver/kick returner Brad Smith agreed to terms on a restructured contract on Saturday. Financial terms of the restructured deal were not disclosed, but it sounds like he took a pay cut. Smith signed a four-year deal for $16 million two years ago, and had a base salary of $2.75 million for 2013. It's likely that number was reduced given his struggles.
Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings suggests that Smith took a significant pay cut:
Though we don't yet know what the terms of his new deal look like, it's a very safe bet that those base salary numbers have shrunken significantly - and if so, his odds of making the final 53-man roster will increase dramatically. In two seasons with the Bills, the 29-year-old Smith has accumulated 203 rushing yards (with two touchdowns), 392 receiving yards (with three touchdowns) and 778 kick return yards (with another touchdown) despite spending most of his two training camps playing quarterback. Now a full-time receiver, Smith has a chance to establish a more defined role for himself in 2013.