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Harbaugh noncommittal on Pitta, Ngata availability; Osemele's back surgery 'successful'

FootballPro FootballDennis PittaJohn HarbaughKelechi OsemeleBaltimore Ravens

The statuses of Ravens Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata and starting tight end Dennis Pitta remains undetermined for Sunday's game against the New York Jets. However, Pitta is regarded as unlikely to play.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal on both players.

Pitta did individual drills the past three days and remains on the injured reserve-designated to return list. He can be activated at any time as he's in a three-week window to either be placed on the active roster or on season-ending injured reserve.

Although Pitta has made significant progress with his surgically repaired right hip, he's not expected to make his return Sunday. The most probable scenario for Pitta, barring any setbacks, would be to play in the Ravens' final four games, starting with a Dec. 8 home game against the Minnesota Vikings. Pitta hasn't been ruled out for any games yet, though.

"There's always a chance," Harbaugh said. "I don't want to say 'no' and then he plays. I don't want to say 'yes' and then he doesn't play and you guys think I'm misleading you somewhere. There's always a possibility of that."

Pitta acknowledged the need for caution while working his way back into playing shape.

"You always have that concern, you don't want to come back too soon and put yourself at risk," said Pitta, who caught 61 passes last season as the Ravens won the Super Bowl. "We'll take it day by day and see how it goes."

When asked about the possibility of playing Sunday, Pitta replied: "We're going to see how I feel tomorrow and see how I feel the next day and go from there."

Pitta looked relatively spry running routes and catching passes from tight ends coach Wade Harman, planting and cutting during the early portion of practice open to reporters. He stayed after practice to caught passes from practice squad quarterback Nick Stephens.

"There's always an adjustment when you're doing it for the first time again, especially with a helmet and shoulder pads on," Pitta said. "It comes back quick. It's feeling good. I'll just continue to keep working on it and get it more comfortable."

Meanwhile, Ngata practiced on a limited basis. Ngata has a sprained left knee with no ligament damage in an injury similar to what sidelined him in Super Bowl XLVII, according to a source.

Ngata is officially listed as questionable on the injury report, as are middle linebacker Daryl Smith (hamstring) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abdominal).

"We'll just have to see how he comes out of that right now," Harbaugh said of Ngata. "It will be interesting to see how he fared and how he feels tomorrow."

Wide receivers Marlon Brown (knee) and Brandon Stokley (groin) are probable.

Harbaugh said left offensive guard Kelechi Osemele underwent back surgery on Monday and is expected to recover in three to four months. Osemele is already on injured reserve.

"It was very successful," Harbaugh said. "He was in a little bit of pain. He's up and walking, very gingerly. He'll start his recovery and rehab now. They say it's a three-to-four month process."

For the Jets, linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (elbow) are doubtful.

The following players are probable: offensive lineman Willie Colon (calf), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (hip), defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis (back), quarterback David Garrard (knee), wide receiver Stephen Hill (knee), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring), wide receiver David Nelson (illness), wide receiver Greg Salas (finger) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee).

awilson@baltsun.com
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FootballPro FootballDennis PittaJohn HarbaughKelechi OsemeleBaltimore Ravens
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