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Friday, December 6, 2013
Pitta has 'reasonable chance' of playing

By Jamison Hensley

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has a "reasonable chance" of playing Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, coach John Harbaugh said after Friday's practice.

Pitta
"It's just going to be how he gets through the week and how the doctors still have to look at it and make sure he's going to be sound," Harbaugh said. "If they feel good about it, then he should be OK."

It's likely a good sign Pitta had his surgically repaired hip evaluated in New York on Tuesday and increased his workload in practice the rest of the week.

Pitta, who is on the Injured Reserve-Designated for Return list, would need to be activated by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET in order to play against the Vikings. The Ravens could open up a roster spot by placing injured safety Brynden Trawick on injured reserve.

“Ultimately, it’s up to me and how I feel," Pitta said. "It’s a rare injury in sports so the doctor’s are relying on me to see how I feel and how my body responds and all that. We’ll see how it goes [Saturday], and we’ll have to make some decisions in the next couple of days.”

Pitta, the second-leading receiver on last season's Super Bowl champion team, has been practicing since Nov. 20. He initially ran individual routes but he participated in team drills this week.

“I’ve upped my workload a little bit this week just to kind of test it and see where it’s at and all that," Pitta said. "Like I said, it’s felt good. I feel like I’m able to do what I need to do. We’ll keep seeing how it feels through the weekend.”

What Pitta can't simulate is contact. He hasn't taken a hit since dislocating his hip on July 27.

"You always want to see how you’re going to respond after getting hit like that," Pitta said. "It’s not something that you could simulate in rehab or even in practice. It will be nice to kind of take that first hit and just see how it feels.”

Harbaugh said he hadn't considered whether bad weather would affect Pitta's status. A wintry mix of snow and sleet is expected in Baltimore on Sunday.

"That's probably something that we'll have to decide on Sunday," Harbaugh said. "Our footing on our field is pretty good. If we get ice or something like that, we'll have to see."