Tight end Ed Dickson had another strong day of practice with the Ravens on Monday, and all indications point toward him being ready to go for the season opener at Denver on Sept. 5.
Dickson hasn't played in any preseason games after suffering what coach John Harbaugh described as a "little tear" in his hamstring on Aug. 4. But after practice on Monday, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said that Dickson is making strong progress in his recovery from the injury.
"He’s running well. He’s catching the ball well. He looks just as explosive as he did a few weeks ago before he was injured, so that’s coming along well," Caldwell said.
With Dennis Pitta out for at least most of the season with a hip injury suffered early in camp, Dickson figures to be the Ravens' top tight end this season. The Ravens cut veteran Visanthe Shiancoe on Sunday, leaving Dickson and Dallas Clark as the top two tight ends in camp. Billy Bajema, Alex Silvestro and rookie Matt Furstenburg are also in the running for a job.
Dickson also missed almost a month of training camp last season after sustaining a shoulder injury in the first presason game, and he has said that the time he missed had a detrimental effect on his chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco.
Dickson caught 21 passes for 225 yards and no touchdowns last season, all numbers down significantly from the year before (54-528-5). But as much as he'd like to be on the field working on his timing with Flacco, he's mindful that he has to come back cautiously.
"With this type of injury," he said, "you can re-injure it real fast."
Dickson is not expected to play in the preseason finale at St. Louis on Thursday but is still aiming to be ready to face Denver on Sept. 5.
"I’m going with what the coaches and trainers say,” Dickson told the team's web site. “I feel like I’ll be able to go, but you never know. You don’t want to go backwards from here. I feel like I’m pretty much ready to go today, but I’m listening to them.”