Tag Archive | "Dennis Pitta"

Ngata questionable for Jets game after returning to practice Friday

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Ngata questionable for Jets game after returning to practice Friday

Posted on 22 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata joined the rest of his teammates on the field for the final full practice of the week and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Listed as a limited participant after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday, Ngata (left knee) was suited up during the portion of the workout open to the media. The 340-pound defensive lineman played catch and did some light high-knee movement but was not very active during the first 20 minutes of practice.

Ngata hadn’t taken part in a practice since injuring his left knee two weeks ago against the Cincinnati Bengals even though he returned to finish playing in that game. The Ravens used a combination of Terrence Cody, DeAngelo Tyson, and rookie Brandon Williams in Ngata’s absence last Sunday.

“He practiced today, so we’ll just have to see how he comes out of that right now,” coach John Harbaugh said. “And it will be interesting to see how he fared and how he feels tomorrow. We’ll just have to see how he’s doing.”

Cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) and linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh) are also listed as questionable but are both expected to play after practicing on a limited basis all week. Wide receivers Marlon Brown (knee) and Brandon Stokley (thigh) are both probable for Sunday’s game.

Tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) did extensive individual work during Friday’s practice, running routes and cutting well while working with tight ends coach Wade Harman. It was the most active Pitta had looked in his three days during the viewing portion of practices.

The Ravens would need to place Pitta on the 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday in order for him to play against the Jets. He said several times Wednesday about a need to take things slow in his return to the practice field, but the Ravens also have a history of being aggressive in activating some players coming back from injuries over the last couple years.

“We’re going to see how I feel tomorrow. We’ll see how I feel the next day and then go from there,” Pitta said. “There’s always an adjustment when you’re doing it for the first time again. It comes back quick and it’s feeling good. I’ll just continue to keep working on it and get it more comfortable.”

Harbaugh said “there is always a chance” that Pitta could play on Sunday, but it would still be considered a surprise if the fourth-year tight end suited up this quickly after his return to practice. The Ravens are not required to list Pitta on the injury report since he is not part of the active roster.

The Baltimore coach revealed that left guard Kelechi Osemele underwent back surgery earlier this week and the procedure was “very successful.” The expected recovery time is three to four months after the second-year lineman was officially placed on injured reserve Nov. 8.

“He was in a little bit of pain,” Harbaugh said. “I had a chance to spend some time with him and his mom and his fiancee yesterday. He walked through the building, so he’s up and walking, very gingerly. But he’ll start his recovery and his rehab now.”

The Jets listed linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (elbow) as doubtful for Sunday’s game but designated tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) and wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) as probable despite each missing practices this week.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Jeff Triplette.

Though Sunday’s forecast in Baltimore pales in comparison to the severe conditions witnessed in Chicago, the Ravens will once again deal with high winds as temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s with winds up to 24 miles per hour.

Here is the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
QUESTIONABLE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee), LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (Abs)
PROBABLE: WR Marlon Brown (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

NEW YORK
DOUBTFUL: LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow)
PROBABLE: OL Willie Colon (calf), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), QB David Garrard (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), WR David Nelson (illness), WR Greg Salas (finger), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

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Ngata’s status remains in question against Jets on Sunday

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Ngata’s status remains in question against Jets on Sunday

Posted on 21 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Moving a day closer to Sunday’s meeting with the New York Jets in Baltimore, the Ravens were again without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata on Thursday.

Ngata hasn’t practiced in nearly two weeks as he continues to recover from a left knee injury sustained against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 10. The defensive lineman missed his first game of the season last Sunday in Chicago and appears to be a question mark once again as the Ravens try to remain afloat in the AFC playoff race.

Coach John Harbaugh has declined to answer questions regarding Ngata’s status as the Ravens used a combination of Terrence Cody, DeAngelo Tyson, and rookie Brandon Williams at the nose tackle position against the Bears in Week 11. With Ngata’s absence leaving a major void in the middle of the defensive line, the Bears were able to rush for 104 yards in the 23-20 overtime victory at Soldier Field.

All other players were accounted for at practice as linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) were limited participants for the second straight day. Wide receivers Marlon Brown (knee) and Brandon Stokley (thigh) practiced fully.

Tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) was practicing for the second straight day, but the Ravens do not have to include him on the injury report since he remains on injured reserve with the designation to return.

Coach John Harbaugh moved up the start of Thursday’s practice to allow players to finish their workday earlier to get some extra rest. The Ravens have a quick turnaround for next week’s game as they will play Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night, roughly 100 hours after the conclusion of Sunday’s contest against the Jets.

Meanwhile, the Jets downgraded the status of tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) as he sat out practice a day after working on a limited basis. Linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) and wide receiver David Nelson (illness) also missed practice while wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) was limited after failing to practice on Wednesday.

Here is Thursday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (Abs)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

NEW YORK
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), WR David Nelson (illness), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OL Willie Colon (calf), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), QB David Garrard (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Greg Salas (finger)

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Ngata only Ravens player missing from Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 20 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens received good news Wednesday with tight end Dennis Pitta’s return to the practice field, but Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata remained sidelined with a left knee injury.

After missing Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Ngata was absent as the Ravens cranked up preparations for the New York Jets. The defensive lineman missed all three practices last week and was ruled inactive last Sunday, missing his first game of the 2013 season.

Coach John Harbaugh declined comment on the decision to hold Ngata out following Sunday’s game and would not reveal whether the weather conditions at Soldier Field contributed to the eighth-year defensive tackle being held out.

“I’m not getting in to all that. There’s no reason for us to put that out there publicly,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “What advantage would there be for us to comment on that? It wouldn’t help us. But, I appreciate you asking. I understand why you do. It’s fair, in all honesty. I just don’t want to put that out there right now.”

Linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) were both limited participants on Wednesday after both players missed practice time last week before playing against the Bears.

Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown (knee) was a full participant after missing Sunday’s game as the poor field conditions were a factor in the decision to rule him inactive.

As announced earlier in the day, tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) took part in practice, playing catch and running routes at half-speed during the portion of practice open to reporters. The Ravens are not required to list Pitta on the injury report since he is not currently on the 53-man roster.

Pitta’s return to practice triggers the start of a 21-day window in which he can work with the team before a decision must be made on his roster standing. If the Ravens do not place Pitta on the active roster at the end of the three-week period — they may activate him sooner, of course — he must remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

“It’s impossible to say, really,” said Harbaugh when asked about a timetable for Pitta’s return to live-game action. “Withing getting ahead of ourselves here, as soon as possible. But safety is No. 1 and his ability to perform out there are the two factors in that.”

For the Jets, wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) and linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.

Here is Wednesday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (Abs)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

NEW YORK
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OL Willie Colon (calf), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), QB David Garrard (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Greg Salas (finger)

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Tight end Pitta returns to practice field for Ravens

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Tight end Pitta returns to practice field for Ravens

Posted on 20 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After suffering what appeared to be a season-ending hip injury in late July, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta officially returned to the practice field on Wednesday.

Reports last month indicated the 2010 fourth-round pick was on track to return to action by late November, which would aid the 4-6 Ravens in their push to make the playoffs in an underwhelming pool of competitors who are vying for the No. 6 seed in the AFC. Pitta played catch and ran pass patterns at half-speed during the portion of Wednesday’s practice that was open to the media.

“It feels awesome to be able to get back, be in meetings with the guys, and hit the field a little bit,” Pitta said. “I feel great. I’m going to take it slow, make sure I can integrate myself back in and I’m feeling good.”

Placed on injured reserve with the designation to return in early September, the fourth-year tight end hasn’t played in nearly four months but took another step toward an in-season return from a dislocated hip suffered on July 27. Originally feared to be lost for the season, Pitta underwent successful surgery where no cartilage or ligament damage was discovered, keeping the possibility of a return open with the general timetable for a recovery set by doctors at three to four months.

Pitta did not directly answer whether he had a chance to play in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets when asked, but he mentioned several times that he would take it slow in his return to the field and needs to be at “an elite level” to be successful in his return. A return for next week’s game against Pittsburgh or a Week 14 contest against Minnesota might be more realistic, but the Ravens haven’t hesitated to quickly activate players coming off injuries in the past such as outside linebacker Terrell Suggs last year and inside linebacker Jameel McClain last month.

Pitta’s appearance on the practice field triggers a 21-day window in which he may take part in team workouts before the Ravens must place him back on the 53-man roster or leave him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Of course, the Ravens may return Pitta to the active roster sooner than that should he respond favorably to practice activity. Coach John Harbaugh said it’s “impossible to say” when Pitta will be ready to play in a game, but he’s been impressed with the tight end’s work ethic in getting himself back to playing shape.

“He came back in pretty quickly after the surgery and was able to move it around,” Harbaugh said. “What they do nowadays is pretty incredible with the techniques of surgery. There’s no casting or anything like that, and they’re moving it right away. He was able to walk pretty quickly after that. Then he was on the body weight stuff where they took the weight off and got him moving. [He was] lifting weights from Day 1 [and] running for the last number of weeks. He’s done a great job.”

Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Pitta said this being a contract year did not influence his decision to return or impact his rehabilitation process. He’s eager to see how his body responds to contact, which truly couldn’t be simulated without being back on the field.

Without Pitta available in the passing game, the Ravens have struggled offensively, ranking 30th in total offense and 19th in passing offense while averaging just 20.8 points per game. Tight ends Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark have combined for just 39 catches, 351 yards, and three touchdowns in Pitta’s absence this season.

Following the Ravens’ decision to trade wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers in March, Pitta was expected to play a larger role in the passing game by working more extensively in the slot. His injury left quarterback Joe Flacco without his two best pass-catching options from last season.

“It’s nothing against anybody — receivers, tight ends, or anything — but I think anytime you lose a good player that’s been a big part of what we’ve done around here, you miss something,” Flacco said. “I don’t really know the extent of what Dennis is going to be able to do today or tomorrow or the next day, but it’s just always good to see somebody back and the fact that they can at least run around a little bit.”

Pitta’s injury was an extremely rare one seen on the football field as there were initial flashbacks to the hip injury suffered by former Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson that cost him his career in the early 1990s, but the Ravens medical staff acted swiftly in getting Pitta the best possible treatment.

His recovery over the last four months has been a difficult one while watching the defending Super Bowl champions struggle to win close games and replicate the level of success they experienced in his first three seasons in Baltimore.

“It’s really hard to watch and not be able to contribute and be with your team,” Pitta said. “Being injured — it’s tough. It’s a long journey and process getting back. Fortunately, I’ve got most of that behind me and I can get back on the field and be with the team a little bit more.”

The 28-year-old caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

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Ravens host Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party Monday

Posted on 28 October 2013 by WNST Staff

RAVENS HOST GOODWILL GRIDIRON HALLOWEEN PARTY

Ravens TE Ed DicksonDT Art JonesT Michael Oher, G Kelechi Osemele and TE Dennis Pitta will serve as hosts for the 14th annual Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party on Monday (10/28) at Dave & Buster’s (Arundel Mills Mall). They will be joined by approximately 15 Ravens teammates and more than 600 guests at the festive party.

The event features a night of bowling, billiards, video games and light fare, in addition to a silent auction. Guests with unique costumes will take part in a costume contest, judged by Ravens players in attendance.

The event benefits Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc., with all proceeds donated toward training and employment programs to help the disabled and underprivileged secure and retain jobs. Last year, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake provided services for over 33,000 individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment, placing 2,464 people into jobs.

Please note that this is a ticketed event. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.goodwillgridiron.com.

 

Who:                     TE Ed DicksonDT Art JonesT Michael Oher, G Kelechi Osemele and TE Dennis Pitta

Along with additional Ravens Players

 

What:                   14th annual Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party

 

Where:                Dave & Buster’sArundel Mills Mall

7000 Arundel Mills Circle

Hanover, MD 21076

 

When:                  Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 7 – 11 p.m.

*Costume contest takes place at approximately 8:45 p.m.

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Pitta moving closer to return in November?

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Pitta moving closer to return in November?

Posted on 23 October 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are spending their bye week trying to rectify issues in all three phases of the game, but their offense appears to be moving closer to regaining a critical piece of the passing game.

Out of action since dislocating and fracturing his hip on July 27, tight end Dennis Pitta continues to inch toward his return to action as it now appears to only be a question of when and not if he’ll be playing again in 2013. Pitta remains on injured reserve with the designation to return, but the fourth-year tight end could be back within the next month or so.

Coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t go as far as confirming an ESPN report saying that Pitta would be back by the end of next month at the latest, but he did acknowledge the progress the injured player has made over the last three months. Pitta was first spotted catching passes from the Jugs machine during the opening portion of an Oct. 4 practice and began running on a treadmill several weeks ago.

“Nothing has changed as far as I know,” said Harbaugh when asked about a mid- to late-November timetable for Pitta’s return. “Everything is on schedule. There have been no setbacks with Dennis, so we’ll just have to see how it goes. Until we get him on the field and see him start running around, I think we’ll know more then. I’m looking forward to that. That will be very interesting.”

By rule, Pitta was eligible to return to the practice field after the Ravens’ Week 6 loss to the Packers and would be eligible to play against Cleveland a week from Sunday, but he is not expected to be ready to return to live-game action until later in November.

The Ravens have struggled to receive production from the tight end position this season as Dallas Clark has collected 23 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns and Ed Dickson has made just seven catches for 93 yards. Last year, Pitta caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season.

He has regularly been at the team’s Owings Mills facility as he continues to work his way back to full strength from an injury that was initially expected to sideline him for the entire year.

“He’s working his tail off rehab-wise,” said wide receiver Torrey Smith, who’s been forced to make up for the losses of both Pitta and Anquan Boldin this season. “It’s always pretty cool to see him in there and really see his progression. Hopefully, he can get back. I don’t know an exact date and if I did, I wouldn’t give out any hints anyways, but he’s definitely looking a lot better. I think just the fact that you can even see him walking — considering what he’d done — is awesome.”

Osemele’s back affecting play

Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele confirmed a report earlier this week that he expects to undergo offseason back surgery after the season.

After it was decided that Osemele would not have surgery last offseason, the second-year lineman has struggled to play through the injury this season and missed most of the Ravens’ Week 5 win over the Miami Dolphins due to back spasms. The former second-round pick is looking forward to four days off to rest his back during the Ravens’ bye week.

“Obviously, I’ve been dealing with it for a while and it’s getting to the point where eventually I’m going to have to go ahead and get that fixed,” said Osemele, who admitted the bouts of pain are becoming more frequent. “I was avoiding it for as long as I could, gambling with i, but I just can’t afford to gamble with it any longer. It’s something I’m going to have to deal with after the season.”

Harbaugh praised Osemele earlier in the week for pushing through the pain as the Ravens’ best backup option behind him is the undersized A.Q. Shipley.

Osemele acknowledged that the back injury is affecting his play, which is no surprise as many have seen a significant drop-off from his rookie season when many predicted he would blossom into a Pro Bowl guard as early as this year. Instead, he has been just one of many concerns for an underperforming offensive line.

“The back’s a big thing,” Osemele said. “It’s connected to everything. It’s connected to your legs. It’s everything from that point down is affected. It’s affected my power. I’m an offensive lineman. I need to have strong legs. So, obviously it’s affected me.”

Bynes eyeing return for Cleveland game

Recovering from surgery for an infection in his finger, inside linebacker Josh Bynes expressed optimism earlier in the week that he would be ready to go for the Ravens’ first post-bye game in Cleveland.

Harbaugh indicated that would be a realistic goal but wasn’t ready to use the same terminology regarding the young linebacker’s status.

“I don’t know if ‘expected’ is the right word,” Harbaugh said. “I guess I probably feel that way, but I don’t want to speak, because you never know with an infection. There’s a good chance that he would be [ready].”

How both Bynes and veteran Jameel McClain will fit into the defense remains to be seen as McClain started at weakside inside linebacker in Pittsburgh.

Ravens keeping roster spot open for now

With Monday’s news of the Ravens trading veteran tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a conditional late draft pick, a spot on the 53-man roster remained open as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re still working ourselves through that,” Harbaugh said. “It could be a practice squad promotion. It could be somebody off a practice squad roster or somebody who’s available right now as a free agent.”

According to The Sun, the Ravens worked out former Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells in what might be an indication of continued concerns over the health of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, but the 2009 first-round pick wasn’t signed immediately. Wells rushed for 1,047 yards in 2011, but injuries limited him to eight games last season before he was released this past March.

Tuesday practice report

Pierce (undisclosed), Osemele (back), Bynes (finger), linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder), and wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin) were not participating during the portion of Wednesday’s workout open to the media.

Players were released on Wednesday afternoon for the remainder of the week and will report back to Owings Mills on Monday. The collective bargaining agreement requires at least four straight days off for players during the bye week.

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

Posted on 04 October 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens were making final preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Friday and listed a total of nine players as questionable on the final injury report of the week including cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Webb and wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Marlon Brown were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report after they missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday while recovering from injuries sustained last Sunday, but they all worked on a limited basis in the final full workout of the week. Webb sat out the second half against the Bills after suffering a hamstring injury but was doing some backpedal work and riding the stationary bike during the portion of practice open to media.

“Very encouraging [to have them back at practice],” coach John Harbaugh said. “It was good to see those guys out there, and [it] made for a better practice, too.”

Also dealing with a hamstring injury all week, Brown was doing plenty of running and appeared to be moving well during the special-teams part of practice. The rookie wideout said he felt good with the hamstring following Friday’s practice.

Jones (knee) was present and working for the third straight day of practice after being sidelined since Sept. 5 with a right MCL sprain, but the Pro Bowl return specialist was noncommital regarding his status against the Dolphins.

“I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to the trainers and the coaches,” Jones said. “You’re trying to get me in trouble with John Harbaugh — I can’t answer that question. I’m trying to ease the process [of coming back].”

Thompson was on the field for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game, but he was suited up and participating during the special-teams portion of practice. Harbaugh said after practice that Thompson had passed the concussion protocol test, but he hadn’t yet been fully cleared for Sunday’s game.

“He’s got to go through the practice,” Harbaugh said. “Then, we’ve got to check his symptoms out.”

In addition to those four, wide receiver Brandon Stokley, linebackers Arthur Brown and Albert McClellan, defensive lineman Marcus Spears, and running back Shaun Draughn were all designated as questionable to play in Sunday’s game.

The Ravens were without five players during the opening portion of Friday’s workout as Stokley (groin), Spears (knee), McClellan (shoulder), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) weren’t participating. Stokley had practiced on a limited basis all week after being inactive for Week 4, and Spears appeared on the injury report for the first time on Thursday after he walked off the field gingerly at the start of practice.

Cody and Jensen were both listed as doubtful on the Friday injury report and aren’t expected to play in Miami.

The Dolphins listed standout defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) as questionable for Sunday’s game after he practiced on a limited basis all week. Former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) is probable against his former team.

As for the status of newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe, Harbaugh said they haven’t made any decision in terms of his availability to play against the Dolphins. The 26-year-old stayed at the team’s Owings Mills facility late into the night on Thursday to work with the offensive line staff in hopes of getting up to speed as soon as possible, according to Harbaugh.

“The main thing is how he feels about it, if he feels confident that he can execute,” said Harbaugh, who acknowledged not being sure what the realistic timetable is to get Monroe on the field for the Ravens. “The good thing is he know what it’s like to play. If he gives us feedback, and he says he’s comfortable and can go, I would think we’d be very confident that he knows what he’s talking about.”

An encouraging sign for the Ravens during Friday’s practice was the presence of Dennis Pitta, who was catching passes from the Jugs machine. The fourth-year tight end was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts and was able to twist his body as he caught passes from the machine, but he did not do any jogging or running during the session.

Pitta remains on injured reserve with the designation to return, making him eligible to return to practice after the first six weeks of the regular season and to play in games after eight weeks. However, it is not believed that Pitta would be able to return until later in the season after he dislocated his hip on July 27, an injury that forced him to undergo immediate surgery.

“I’m pretty impressed,” Harbaugh said. “He’s running quite a bit on these machines, and he’s out here catching passes. [A potential return] is a ways away, time-wise. Every time I see Dennis, I guess I have mixed emotions. I’m happy that he’s doing well, and I’m not happy that he’s not already out there playing right now. He’s doing a good job.”

The referee for Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Dolphins will be Carl Cheffers.

The forecast in Miami calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.

Here’s the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Arthur Brown (shoulder), WR Marlon Brown (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), WR Deonte Thompson (concussion), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)

MIAMI
OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), S Don Jones (elbow), LB Jason Trusnik (rib), DE Cameron Wake (knee)
PROBABLE: CB Nolan Carroll (ankle), S Chris Clemons (glute), LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee), LB Jonathan Freeney (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), DT Paul Soliai (knee)

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Ravens to try out former Giants tight end Ballard on Monday

Posted on 08 September 2013 by Luke Jones

Desperate to improve their production at the tight end position, the Ravens will reportedly try out Jake Ballard.

The former New York Giants tight end was waived by the New England Patriots at the end of the preseason after missing the entire 2012 season due to the torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl XLVI. Prior to the injury, Ballard had a good 2011 season with the Giants, catching 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games.

According to FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo, Ballard will work out for the Ravens in Owings Mills on Monday.

Ballard struggled in the preseason as the Patriots were hoping he could help fill the void left behind by Aaron Hernandez and the currently-injured Rob Gronkowski.

The Ravens have struggled to find production at the tight end position following the long-term hip injury to starter Dennis Pitta in late July. Fourth-year tight end Ed Dickson struggled to catch the football several times and veteran Dallas Clark dropped a sure touchdown right before halftime in the season-opening 49-27 loss to Denver.

Baltimore also signed veteran Visanthe Shiancoe during training camp but decided to cut him on Aug. 25.

With the Ravens struggling to find viable targets for quarterback Joe Flacco in the passing game, watching Anquan Boldin catch 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown had to sting even more.

 

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Ravens place Pitta on IR-designated to return, re-sign Bajema

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Ravens place Pitta on IR-designated to return, re-sign Bajema

Posted on 04 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

More than a month after tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a devastating hip injury in the first week of training camp, the Ravens are officially leaving the door open for his return in 2013.

As expected, the team announced Wednesday morning that Pitta was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after it was initially feared that he would be lost for the entire season. Baltimore re-signed veteran tight end Billy Bajema to take Pitta’s place on the 53-man roster a day before the Ravens’ season-opening game in Denver.

Pitta suffered a fractured and dislocated hip on July 27 and underwent surgery immediately. An MRI later revealed the fourth-year tight end hadn’t suffered any ligament or cartilage damage to the hip area, leaving open some chance of him returning later this season.

“I would love to play this season,” Pitta told the team’s official website last week. “I think there’s a possibility of me coming back. There’s also the possibility that I won’t be back until next season. I’m prepared for both decisions. Right now, I’m taking it day-to-day and doing everything they allow me to do. I’m getting stronger every day.”

The designation would allow Pitta to return to practice after the first six weeks of the regular season and to game action after the first eight weeks, but he is not expected to be ready that soon as many medical experts have described his type of injury as needing a minimum of three to four months of recovery time in the most optimistic cases.

Teams were not allowed to use the return designation until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, meaning the Ravens were required to carry Pitta on their 53-man roster through final cuts on Aug. 31. Each team is allowed to use the IR exemption once and cannot recover the privilege to use it on anyone else should the injured player be unable to make it back to the field.

“You’ve got to weigh that, but you can’t predict and deal in hypotheticals,” said Harbaugh last week. “Dennis is a great player in our opinion, and this is an opportunity that seems like it might make sense for him.”

Bajema served as the No. 3 tight end behind Pitta and Ed Dickson last year and is regarded as a strong blocker and special-teams contributor who will back up Dickson and veteran newcomer Dallas Clark in 2013.

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A. Jones undergoing tests for undisclosed illness, McPhee limited Tuesday

Posted on 03 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — There were no changes to practice attendance for the Ravens on Tuesday as they continued preparations for their season-opening game against the Denver Broncos.

Already ruled out for Thursday night’s game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, defensive tackle Arthur Jones (undisclosed illness) was once again missing from the field and hasn’t practiced since playing in the Ravens’ third preseason game on Aug. 22. Coach John Harbaugh reiterated Tuesday that the health issue is not related to football and once again deferred to Jones to decide what details he eventually discloses.

“It’s not anything that’s like life-threatening or anything like that, but it’s non-football related,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve just got to get some tests done to make sure he’s OK. Until the tests come out the right way, he’s not going to be able to play. It’s something that I’ve been told now they can’t tell you how long it will be. It could be a week; it could be indefinitely. We don’t think it’s going to be the second part of it.”

According to the Ravens coach, Jones will see a specialist and undergo further tests on Wednesday as veteran defensive lineman Marcus Spears is expected to take his place along the defensive line in the base 3-4 defense.

A couple hours after Harbaugh’s update, the fourth-year lineman wrote a message on his official Twitter account for the first time since Aug. 19.

“As many of you know i’m [sic] having personal health issues,” Jones wrote. “Please respect my privacy. We as athlete’s [sic] go through real life problems also. Thank You all for your love and support. Ravens fans are the best!! See you all on the field soon!!!”

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) were also absent during the portion of practice open to the media. None of those three are expected to play against the Broncos.

Pass-rush specialist Pernell McPhee (knee) was the only new addition to Tuesday’s injury report as he continues to manage a sore knee and was a limited participant.

Of course, tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) was officially declared out for Thursday’s game and is expected to be placed on injured reserve with the designation to return when NFL teams are allowed to use that exemption beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.

“I think we’ll have an announcement for that on Wednesday,” Harbaugh said. “[We'll] just get some final evaluations from the doctors and make sure that we’re doing the right thing for everybody involved.”

This would free up an open spot on the 53-man roster in time for Thursday night’s game.

Tight end Ed Dickson (hamstring) was once again present and working after being listed as a full participant on Monday’s injury report. He made his return to the practice field two weeks ago and has looked good, according to Harbaugh.

“If I can practice out there, I feel like I can play in any game,” said Dickson, who added that he had never suffered such a severe hamstring injury in his football career. “With practice, personally, I feel like I can play. In the end, it’s not my decision to say I can go out there and [potentially] hurt the team by re-injuring anything.”

As they’ve done in past seasons, Ravens players practiced their jersey swap that’s traditionally seen on Fridays during normal game weeks. Running back Ray Rice wore retired linebacker Ray Lewis’ No. 52 jersey while cornerback Chykie Brown sported former safety Ed Reed’s No. 20. Rice’s close friendship with Lewis is common knowledge, and Reed took Brown under his win in their two years together and the pair often swapped jerseys on Fridays last season.

The Ravens will hold a closed walk-through on Wednesday before departing for Denver later in the day.

Here is Tuesday’s official injury report:

BALTIMORE
OUT: DT Art Jones (illness – non-football injury), TE Dennis Pitta (hip)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe)
LIMITED: DE Pernell McPhee (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: TE Ed Dickson (thigh)

DENVER
OUT: none
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB C.J. Anderson (knee), CB Champ Bailey (foot), TE Joel Dreessen (knee)
LIMITED: G Chris Kuper (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DE Robert Ayers (Achilles), T Ryan Clady (shoulder), QB Brock Osweiler (left shoulder), WR Wes Welker (ankle)

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