The Baltimore Ravens have been trying to ease star tight end Dennis Pitta back into action, and there’s no doubt that having Pitta back would be a huge boost to the passing game. Pitta is a very versatile pass-catching tight end, and he is someone who Joe Flacco trusts a great deal. With Pitta in the fold, the Ravens should be better in red zone and third down situations, and Pitta is a key safety valve and possession receiver in the Ravens offense.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has generally been coy when speaking about Pitta’s status, but Week 14 has always been the target date for the Ravens to activate him from the short-term injured reserve. According to FOX Sports’s Mike Garafolo, the Ravens did indeed activate Dennis Pitta from the short-term I.R. yesterday, and he will make his 2013 season debut today against the Minnesota Vikings.
I expect the Ravens to limit Pitta’s reps in his first game back, especially since they are going up against a weaker opponent in the Vikings. But the Ravens also know that they can’t let their guard down, since the Vikings knocked off the Chicago Bears in overtime last week. I’m sure the Ravens just want to ease Pitta into things in his first game back, because they have been managing Pitta’s injury carefully up to this point and won’t run any risk of aggravating a serious offseason hip injury.
With that in mind, fantasy owners should keep Pitta on the bench for one more week, because it’s always best not to risk playing someone who is returning from a long-term injury; you have to see what he does on the field first.