First, the good news: Following concerns that his career might be over after two hip surgeries, Dennis Pitta opened training camp with his teammates in late July, ready to resume his role as Joe Flacco's go-to target.
Now, the bad news: On Aug. 1, Pitta got into a practice scuffle with rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa and suffered a broken finger in the process.
Coach John Harbaugh announced Monday that Pitta, who hasn't practiced since, remains sidelined while the bone in Pitta's finger continues to heal. In related news, Harbaugh is understandably annoyed by all of this.
"It's absurd that it even happened," the coach said, via the team's website. "We need to get him back as soon as we can, but it's not going to be this week. A bone has to heal. ... It's ridiculous. It's sad and I'm disappointed about it. But it was pointed out to me this morning when I was moaning in self-pity about Dennis Pitta's situation -- maybe things happen for a reason. Maybe there's another injury that hasn't occurred because of that."
There's also no guarantee that Pitta's injury won't linger after he's cleared to return.
"They're afraid that if he gets it hit again, they might need to put a screw in," Harbaugh said. "It's just that kind of a fracture."
Pitta hasn't played in an NFL game since Sept. 21, 2014 (and only saw action in four games in 2013). But he and Flacco developed rapport that has been missing since; Pitta combined for 101 catches for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2011-12 seasons, which is the last time he didn't miss any time with injuries.
"I want to get [Pitta] time to work with Joe but he really can't catch right now," Harbaugh explained. "And he definitely can't get his finger banged up. The guy has played a lot of football. We have to get him and Joe timed up. That was really coming early on, which was exciting to see."
If you're looking for a silver lining, there's this: Ravens 2015 first-rounder Breshad Perriman, who missed all of last season -- and the 2016 training camp with knee injuries -- came of the PUP list on Monday. It's not much, but it's something.