Ravens give Dennis Pitta deadline to decide football future

By David Kenyon

Injuries can destroy athletic careers, and Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta might be the next name added to that unfortunate list.

ESPN reported doctors have advised the 30-year-old to retire from the NFL because it is too dangerous to return from a pair of major hip operations.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said the Ravens have given him a deadline for the decision.

Pitta has appeared in just seven games since 2012 when he established himself as a rising star at the position. The BYU product tallied 61 receptions, 669 yards and seven touchdowns during his second season as a starter.

In July 2013, Pitta fractured his hip and missed the first three months of the campaign. Then in September 2014, Pitta sustained the same injury after playing in three games.

From an outside perspective, it seems like a no-brainer that Pitta should retire, especially if doctors have advised him to do that. However, ESPN’s report says Pitta “has practiced with the Ravens for the last three weeks and has impressed team officials.”

If Pitta elects to return, head coach John Harbaugh will find himself in a difficult position, though he’ll likely use the tight end.

The biggest problem is that contact isn’t an issue. At any moment, Pitta could succumb to a similar injury. That’s what happened last time. Hopefully, if Pitta comes back, it doesn’t happen again.