The Ravens should consider canceling the remainder of their OTAs.
On Friday, a day after they lost breakout cornerback Tavon Young to a torn ACL, the Ravens announced that tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a non-contact hip injury. According to NFL.com's Mike Garafolo, Pitta dislocated his hip, which means his career is likely in jeopardy, as ESPN's Adam Schefter noted. Garafolo reported that Pitta is expected to retire.
The team has not confirmed the extent of the injury.
"In unfortunate news, Dennis Pitta re-injured his hip at today's OTA session and is undergoing tests to determine the severity. This is incredibly disappointing, obviously for Dennis, and for the Ravens," general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "A year ago, he led our team with a career-high 86 receptions, the most ever by a Ravens tight end, and was named a second alternate to the Pro Bowl. Dennis is one of the great Ravens, and he has done everything he can to make our team better."
This is horrible news. As Newsome noted in his statement, Pitta experienced a fantastic 2016 season, catching 86 passes for 729 yards and two touchdowns. He's not Gronk or in the upper echelon of tight ends, but he's a dependable pass-catcher and an important part of a Baltimore offense that is thin in playmakers.
This also isn't his first hip issue. In September of 2014, Pitta suffered a dislocated and fractured hip -- the second one of his career. He didn't play again until this past season. So, this -- his third dislocated hip -- is an especially sad development.
"I am not getting as many questions about my hip," Pitta said a week ago, per the Ravens' website. "I feel good. I got to have a full offseason of just normal preparation. It feels good -- feeling healthy."
Now, the Ravens could look to bring in outside help. Ex-Browns tight end Gary Barnidge is still a free agent; so is Ladarius Green. The Ravens also have some decent internal depth at the position. As it stands, Crockett Gillmore and Benjamin Watson would likely get more looks.
Here's where I remind you that a year ago, Gillmore said that the Ravens had the best tight end group in all of football.
"This is the best group in the NFL," Gillmore said at the time, per the Baltimore Sun. "I'm not afraid to say it. It's hands down, and there's guys that unfortunately won't be here with the numbers -- it's just you can't keep that many guys. There's going to be some really good, talented guys that can do everything not be here."
Now is Gillmore's chance to prove that.