Owings Mills-Sunday brought on the news that Ravens fans did not want to hear confirmed, as Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced after practice that TE Dennis Pitta-after suffering a dislocated hip Saturday after a hit with S James Ihedigbo-would indeed miss the 2013 season with the injury.
“He’s out for the year,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not something he’s going to be able to come back from this year. There’s enough damage in there to preclude that.”
Harbaugh said Pitta is resting comfortably at the hospital after the surgery, which was necessary to put the hip back into place. They are awaiting the MRI from the doctors, but ultimately to see what sort of damage was done and how long it will affect his movement and play on the field.
“It would be really rare for something that he would be back year on,” Harbaugh quietly said with some remorse.
He all but shot down the possibility of the team using him as their sole “Designated to Return IR” spot.
The Ravens moved quickly to fill the void for depth at the position, as the Ravens officially signed former Morgan State TE Visanthe Shiancoe to a one year deal. Terms were not disclosed.
Shiancoe joined Sunday’s practice midway through-wearing the #81 worn by receiver Anquan Boldin the last three years.
“I’m all good…glad to be here as a Raven,” Shiancoe said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity, and I’m just ready to work. Welcome back to Baltimore.”
Shiancoe, a 10-year veteran, watched practice Friday with Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome as he went on a training camp tour workout looking for a new NFL team for 2013, and said he and Newsome both left quite the impression on the meeting.
“We have a mutual respect for each other,” Shiancoe said, “and I think we are ready to work.”
Shiancoe had a number of workouts last week including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but ultimately the Bowie native said he couldn’t turn down an offer from the Super Bowl champs and return home to his alma mater.
“They’re champions…you can beat that,” Shiancoe said. “You can’t beat that type of energy here. They have a great team…I just see a good opportunity here.”
Harbaugh expressed that level of excitement to quickly get him out on the practice field and see what he can do.
“We’re excited to have him here,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a real talented pass-receiving tight end who’s a real tough blocker.”
Shiancoe, on his fourth NFL team, had his best season come in 2009 when he caught a career high 56 passes for 566 yards and 11 TDs.
Many are projecting him to be a valuable weapon for the Raves inside their red zone as he stands at 6’4, 250.
“The red zone is going to be critical for your big receivers…that’s something he’s done well,” Harbaugh said.
However, there is a concern of how much left Shiancoe, 33, has in the tank.
But Harbaugh shot down those concerns quickly and said he could not have had a better workout on Friday-one of the best he’s seen lately.
“He’s in real good shape-one of the things we saw about him was how fit he was. He blew away the conditioning test. He blew away his workout. He looks really good, and he looks really excited to be here.”
Ed Dickson: “I’ve got 24 hours to grieve..”
Shiancoe will likely back up TE Ed Dickson, who also spoke at the podium after Sunday’s practice and said it’s all on him to rebuild the chemistry lost for the Ravens between Flacco and Pitta.
Dickson ached for Pitta during Saturday’s practice and said it was tough to go on seeing him in pain.
“My first reaction was that I was very sad-just to lose a teammate and a brother like that,” Dickson said. “Since Day One, we’ve been helping each other out, and it hurt me to the heart.”
“I’ve got 24 hours to grieve, and then it’s next man up.”
And that’s just what Dickson did-as he looked good in drills catching balls from Flacco over the middle.
Dickson said his biggest hurdle is getting on the same page with Joe.
“The bond that [Flacco and Pitta] had was on and off the field. They eat breakfast and everything together.”
“I’m not going to stalk Joe and follow him around, but I’m going to be right there in his pocket-every little thing on the field-I’m going to master everything.”
Dickson cited the bond Flacco had with his Pitta and Todd Heap, and Dickson said he wants in on that-without the impression that he’s REPLACING Pitta.
“I want to get a little bit on that level…I just want to get closer to Joe and build that chemistry, because it will help on the field.”
Ravens move on in camp
While he does have a new offensive weapon to replace Pitta, quarterback Joe Flacco currently has a different look offensive line in front of him due to injury.
Both guards Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and Kelechi Osemele (hamstring) were absent from practice, along with backups Ryan Jensen (leg) and G Ramon Harewood (undisclosed).
The belief was that Yanda, who is currently on the PUP list after off-season rotator-cuff surgery, would be returning to practice soon after passing his physical Friday.
Osemele has missed three full practices since straining his hamstring in the team’s opening practice session Thursday.
WR Marlon Brown (knee) and LaQuan Williams (arm) continue to rehab their respective injuries.
The player who collided with Pitta on Saturday-S James Ihedigbo- initially left the practice field during the special team session with an arm injury.
He was helped off the field by the trainer holding his left arm. He was lying on the field for several minutes, and it was odd considering there was not a lot of contact in the drill.
However, Ihedigbo later returned to the field ten minutes later with his helmet on and participating in team activities.
WR Tommy Streeter left with symptoms of heat stroke, FB Kyle Juszczyk had his foot and ankle stepped on but played through practice, and starting ILB Daryl Smith complained of a groin pull toward the end of practice but stayed out on the field.