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As expected, the Ravens activated tight end Dennis Pitta from the injured list to the 53-man roster prior for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, an NFL source confirmed, after being reported by NFL Network. Pitta was expected to be in uniform Sunday, although how much he would play remained to be seen. It would mark his first action of the season, after surgery during training camp to repair a fractured hip. To make room for Pitta, the Ravens announced they had waived running back Bernard Scott.
Pitta has been practicing for several weeks, but the Ravens wanted to make sure he was ready before taking him off the injured reserve – designated to return list. He was upbeat Friday after a full week of practice, and sounded as if he expected to play.
“Felt good all week, nice to get back in it, go through full practices and stuff, so we’ll see,” Pitta said. “Ultimately it’s up to me and how I feel. It’s a rare injury in sports. So the doctor is relying on me to see how I feel and how my body responds.
The return of Pitta could be key for the Ravens (6-6) during December, and beyond should they make the playoffs. He is one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, particularly on third down and in the red zone. Pitta has the versatility to line up as a traditional tight end, or as a wide receiver. He caught 61 passes for 669 yards last season and seven touchdowns last season, and expected to better those numbers before his injury.
Pitta admitted he was eager to see how his hip would respond to being tackled. “You always want to see how you’re going to respond after getting hit,” Pitta said. “It’s not something you can simulate in rehab or even in practice. It’ll be nice to take that first hit and see how it feels.”