OWINGS MILLS - Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta may not be lost for the season after all.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh didn't say how likely or unlikely a potential late season return is for Pitta, but he said the team has been holding out hope that Pitta could play at some point this year since the MRI results on Pitta's injured hip showed no ligament or cartilage damage.
Pitta dislocated and fractured the hip in late July during the first week of training camp.
At the time, Harbaugh said that Pitta's injury would prevent him from playing this season, but Pitta is yet to be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Harbaugh was asked Tuesday if that's simply procedural, but he said it's not.
"We'll put him on IR when we're certain he's out for the year," Harbaugh said. "We know it's a serious injury. But when it came back that there was no ligament or cartilage damage, that maybe gave us some hope."
Based on what Harbaugh said in late July, Pitta could begin rehabbing the hip in as soon as a month from now.
Pitta's injury is typically regarded as an one that takes at least four months to recover from. But if all goes well with Pitta's rehab under that scenario, he could potentially return as early as late November.
"We're going to wait and see how that bone heals over the first five weeks of this injury," Harbaugh said.
Prior to the injury, Pitta appeared poised for a big season.
He emerged as one of the core pieces of the Ravens' passing game last season and looked set to take on an even bigger role this year, especially with last year's top receiver, Anquan Boldin, now in San Francisco.
Pitta ranked second on Baltimore in touchdown catches last season with seven, and he was tied for second on the team with 61 catches.
He was also big for the Ravens in the playoffs. He had 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore's four playoff games, including four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.