Doctors have advised Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta that it is no longer safe to continue his NFL career after having two major hip surgeries, according to ESPN sources.
Doctors met with Pitta on Tuesday to see how the surgically repaired right hip was responding to practices. Pitta, who broke his right hip in each of the past two seasons, has been practicing with the Ravens for the past three weeks and has exceeded team officials expectations.
Pitta does have the ability to override doctor recommendations and play if he so chooses. The team must decide by 1 PM EST on Wednesday afternoon if they will activate him off the physically unable to perform list or sit him for the remainder of the year.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will leave the decision to play up to Pitta himself and trusts that he will make the rational choice.
"If it's safe and he feels like he can get out there and the hip is responding well, he's going to play," Harbaugh said Monday. "If it's not safe, he's not going to play."
The Ravens' offensive game are without their leading receiver Steve Smith Sr. and have very few dependable options at wide receiver. Baltimore is desperate for help, but it shouldn't be at the cost of another player's health. It's one thing to see progress in practice, it's another thing to see how the repaired hip reacts keeping up in an actual game.
Although it is ultimately Pitta's choice to play or not, it would probably be best to see him air on the side of caution and sit out the rest of the season.
The Ravens signed Pitta during the 2013 offseason to a five-year, $36 million contract, which included $16 million guaranteed. Since the deal, Pitta has played in only seven games for the Ravens, catching 36 passes and scored one touchdown.
Baltimore's year just keeps getting worse.