As the Ravens wind down another week of workouts, they can’t help but still feel the loss of Dennis Pitta. The veteran tight end, coming off a career year, was released Wednesday after suffering yet another serious hip injury. His third such injury in the last four years happened last Friday in organized team activities.
“Disappointment, you know? But, it wasn’t something that wasn’t possible,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh about Pitta’s injury. “I think we all understood that. Dennis did. Everybody kind of knew the situation going in. For him to get that year (2016) and to play so well was probably something beyond expectations and yet we hope for more. We thought we could get more. It wasn’t meant to be.”
With Pitta hurt it now allows others to fill his void on the roster, like Nick Boyle. The third-year tight end is seeing increased responsibility at practice.
“That’s not the way I want it to happen. He’s a really good friend of mine,” said Boyle about his role after Pitta’s injury. “I feel really bad for him but naturally it’s out of your control that it will give you more opportunities on the field.”
One area where the Ravens still could and should try to upgrade is at the receiver position. The organization hosted a visitor Thursday who may prove to fit that bill, free agent veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin.
“We had a great visit with him. He was in here all morning into the early afternoon getting to know us, us getting to know him. He’s going to go back (home). We didn’t press him to stay,” said Harbaugh.
And speaking of visitors, the recently retired Steve Smith Sr. returned to check in on his old team. Smith was doing some reporting for his new employer, NFL Network.
The Ravens wrap up their voluntary OTA’s on Friday. They conclude their offseason work with a three-day mandatory mini-camp beginning on Tuesday.