A week ago, the Ravens’ top two tight ends returned to the team’s practice field for the first time in almost a month, reducing doubt that Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta would be unable to suit up for the regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10.
Since that Saturday, Dickson – who sprained his right shoulder while catching a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco in the second quarter of an eventual 31-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 9 – and Pitta – who broke a bone in his right hand during practice July 30 – have increasingly raised their level of participation in practice.
At that time, Pitta told reporters that he thought he would be ready for the game against the Bengals.
“I think being able to get out there and run around and actually catch the ball a little bit certainly helps my confidence and helps me understand that I’ll be back playing soon enough,” he said. “But we’re going to be smart with it and just take it one day at a time.”
Although Dickson, who ranked second on the team in touchdown catches (five) and third in receptions (54) last year, and Pitta, who ranked fifth in both catches (40) and receiving yards (405), did not play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams, the duo is getting closer to being available for the season opener.
Asked if he was becoming confident of the progress that Dickson and Pitta are making, coach John Harbaugh said, “Yeah, and we’ll know a lot more on Monday, Wednesday and even especially Thursday when we pad it up a little bit. But they seem to be ahead of schedule, both those guys.”