Training camp is underway in the NFL, teams are taking the field to begin their 2013 campaign for the first time. Excitement is in the air across the nation, as each team has its hopes high that this is the year their team will hoist the Lombardi Trophy. For the Baltimore Ravens however, their bid to repeat as champions took a major hit when tight end Dennis Pitta was carted off the field with a hip injury Saturday.
Pitta is entering his fourth season and has become an integral piece of their offense. Last season he broke onto the scene in a big way, becoming one of the favorite targets of Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco and catching 61 passes for 669 yards. Pitta also was able to cross the goal line seven times on the year.
Those numbers are impressive for a tight end, however they were only part of the reason Pitta was expected to blossom into perhaps the team’s number two receiving option this season. Anquan Boldin left the Ravens this off season and left the team without Flacco’s best possession receiver.
In Boldin’s wake, the timing was right for Pitta to step up and become a number two option in the passing game. That competition is now wide open.
Reports as to the severity of the hip injury Pitta suffered are that he will not take the field for the Baltimore Ravens this year. “All indications are that Pitta fractured his hip and will need surgery to repair it,” the Baltimore Sports Report says. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reports that he will miss the entire season due to the injury.
In the absence of Pitta, second year tight end Ed Dickson will move into the starting position. Former Minnesota Viking Visanthe Shiancoe has been observed at Ravens practice as well, perhaps finding his way back onto the field as a number two tight end in the wake of the injury.
Pitta’s injury is certain to hurt the Ravens if his hip injury forces him to miss the season. He was a key piece of their Super Bowl run a season ago, and will be one more player the Ravens have to replace moving forward. They have seen turnover far more than your typical championship roster already, and were hoping for Pitta to emerge as a star this year.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express