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The Ravens continue to take it slow with tight end Dennis Pitta after electing not to activate him by Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving night.
Pitta began practicing on Nov. 20 and was never considered a realistic possibility to play last Sunday against the New York Jets, but the organization had hoped in the weeks leading to the tight end’s return to the practice field that he’d be available to play against the AFC North rival Steelers. However, Pitta and coach John Harbaugh both expressed the need to take their time in evaluating how well the 2010 fourth-round pick’s hip holds up to the rigors of football-related activity and contact.
Harbaugh revealed little about Pitta’s status when he met with the media following Wednesday’s practice in Owings Mills and was asked whether he was nearing a return to game action..
“He’s closer — yes, he is,” Harbaugh said. “Dennis Pitta is closer.”
After Thursday’s game against the Steelers, the Ravens will not play again until Dec. 8 when they welcome the Minnesota Vikings to M&T Bank Stadium. Given the timing of Pitta’s return to practice, that Week 14 contest would seem like the logical date that he’ll play in a game barring any setbacks.
Pitta suffered a dislocated and fractured hip on July 27 but was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return in early September after the injury revealed no ligament or cartilage damage in the surrounding hip area.