OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Tight end Dennis Pitta is starting his road to recovery, which the Ravens ultimately hope ends with him playing some time this season.
Pitta is on the injured reserve-designated to return list after hurting his hip at the beginning of training camp. He made his first appearance on the practice field Friday, catching passes from the JUGS machine. According to coach John Harbaugh, Pitta has also started running.
"I've got to be honest with you, I’m pretty impressed," Harbaugh said. "That’s a ways away time-wise."
Pitta is eligible to return to practice on Oct. 21 and play in the Week 9 game at the Cleveland Browns. But the more realistic timetable for Pitta is some point toward the end of the regular season. There are also no guarantees that Pitta will be able to play this season.
Last season, Pitta was second on the Ravens with 61 catches and seven touchdown receptions. This season, without Pitta, the Ravens' tight ends have combined for 20 catches, six dropped passes and zero touchdowns.
"Every time I see Dennis, I've got mixed emotions," Harbaugh said. "I’m happy he’s doing so well and I’m not happy that he’s not already out there playing right now. He’s doing a good job."