The most dreaded scenario for the Baltimore Ravens that could have happened actually did happen over the weekend with the season-ending hip injury to star tight end Dennis Pitta. Besides Pitta, Ed Dickson, Billy Bajema and the newly-acquired Visanthe Schiancoe are only signed through the 2013 season.
Which brings up the question: who will be playing tight end for the Ravens in the foreseeable future?
The one mostly effected by Pitta’s injury is Pitta himself. This was to be a huge breakout season; with the departure of Anquan Boldin, the Ravens brass was looking to Pitta as one of the main guys to fill the void. Assuming Pitta had been healthy all year, he could have been around the 70-80 catch range as he was already one of Joe Flacco‘s favorite targets to begin with.
I believe the Ravens were going to attempt to sign Pitta to a long-term extension before the season started, and I still think he will be re-signed. However, he might have just missed out on a big payday.
Dickson is now being looked to as the guy to pick up the slack. He was drafted in the same year as Pitta and one round earlier, but was lost in the shuffle due to injuries and the incredible play of Pitta. If Dickson can stay healthy, he should be in for a nice season and would prove to the Ravens brass that he’s worth keeping around.
I think Bajema will be beaten out by undrafted rookie Matt Furstenberg, so he’ll be gone. Schaincoe is a nice one-year band aid, nothing more.
The tight ends for the Ravens in 2014 and beyond will be similar to what they have been. Pitta will be back next season at a tiny discount for the Ravens, Dickson will do enough to be brought back, and Furstenberg will be the nice unexpected surprise. All will be fine for the Ravens.
In the meantime, let’s all wish Pitta a speedy and healthy recovery. We’ll miss you this year, big guy.