At training camp Saturday, TE Dennis Pitta was carted off the field with a dislocated hip. Coach John Harbaugh announced that Pitta will miss at least the Baltimore Ravens Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos. Pitta’s injury prognosis is not the best news, but it is definitely not the worst NFL injury news on the day with Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin most likely missing the entire season with a torn right ACL. In Pitta’s absence, Baltimore will have to alter their offensive game plan.
With WR Anquan Boldin‘s departure, Pitta was going to be a main part of the Ravens’ offensive scheme. In his absence, fellow TE Ed Dickson and WR Torrey Smith will have to step up even more. Both Dickson and Smith were going to have a heavier role with Boldin gone, but now there’s greater pressure on both players.
OC Jim Caldwell touched on this after today’s training camp session.
“Obviously he has been a very, very productive guy for us, and he’s made a lot of big plays around here,” Caldwell said. “We’ll see what happens. Somebody is going to have to step up and we do have some capable guys all across the flanks.”
Ironically, veteran free agent TE Visanthe Shiancoe visited with the Ravens Friday and could be a suitable option to fill in. One thing is for sure though, more than one player will have to step up. Only one player will not be able to fill Pitta’s void. It will take collective effort from the Ravens’ somewhat young receiving corps.
QB Joe Flacco will need to work hard developing a good chemistry with his receivers. Furthermore, RB Ray Rice might find more touches and could be used more as a threat on screen passes.
Luckily for the Ravens, it doesn’t look like Pitta will miss multiple regular season games, but you never know with injuries. Nonetheless, in the void left by Pitta’s injury, Baltimore’s other offensive weapons will need to step it up.
Follow Phil Naegely on Facebook, Twitter @PnaegelyRS, and Google+.