Baltimore Ravens Training Camp: Tight End Situation Goes From Great to Visanthe Shiancoe

By Ryan Heckman
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

I can’t help but feel for the Baltimore Ravens. I mean, sure they are the defending Super Bowl champions and life has been great for the most part. But, with the significant losses the defense suffered over the offseason, Anquan Boldin’s trade to the San Francisco 49ers and now the unraveling of the tight end position, Baltimore is hurting.

Tight end Dennis Pitta is out for the year with a dislocated hip. This news first broke July 28th. Just about a week later Pitta’s replacement, Ed Dickson, suffered a slight tear in his hamstring during training camp.

While head coach John Harbaugh said he expects Dickson to be ready for the season opener September 5th, this news is concerning nonetheless. If he aggravates the injury any further throughout the season or during his attempt to come back, the Ravens are left with just about nothing.

In the wake of Dickson’s injury, the Ravens signed veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe as their fill-in for now. A few years ago you may have thought this was a relatively smart move, but now? Not so much.

Shiancoe last played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 where he caught 36 passes for 409 yards and three scores. His most productive years were in 2008 and 2009 when he caught a combined 18 touchdowns.

Since then, he’s been anything but memorable in his stints with Minnesota and last year with the New England Patriots. The Patriots signed Shiancoe to a one-year deal, but eventually released him in December after not catching a pass all year long and only being activated for a very short time.

The Ravens better pray that Dickson gets healthy, and fast. The 33-year old Shiancoe does not provide the Ravens with much at the tight end position, which many thought would be the most crucial part of the offense heading into this year with the wide receivers’ depth being questionable. Shiancoe is a good body to have in training camp, and that’s about it.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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