Dennis Pitta has yet to be activated off short-term injured reserve, but he appears to be nearing a return for the Baltimore Ravens. Indications are that the tight end will make his season debut this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, according to the Baltimore Sun. Pitta has reportedly look healthy in practice, according to the Sun's Aaron Wilson:
A positive sign for Dennis Pitta this week, per a source, making a diving catch, landing on surgically-repaired hip and bouncing up unfazed— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) December 7, 2013
Pitta suffered a dislocated hip during the first padded practice of training camp this past summer. He had emerged as a favorite target of Joe Flacco during offseason workouts and was poised for a big season after catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012. The Ravens' have received so-so contributions from Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson this season, making Pitta's return a potentially significant boost to the offense.
Head coach John Harbaugh said that Pitta has a "reasonable chance" of playing Sunday, barring any setbacks.
"I would say we're on schedule to see what happens, and we'll see," Harbaugh said. "He seemed good. It's just going to be how he gets through the week and how the doctors still have to look at it and make sure he's going to be sound. If they feel good about it, then he should be OK. I don't want to say he's going to play and [see] him not play, and say he's not going to play and he plays."
The Ravens will take all the help they can get. At 6-6 overall, last season's Super Bowl champions are on the fringe of the AFC wild card picture. They currently hold the No. 6 seed in the conference ahead of the 6-6 Miami Dolphins thanks to a win during their meeting in Week 5. The Ravens are two games behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North.