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Ravens: Hip injury to sideline Pitta for entire season

OWINGS MILLS - The Ravens will have to defend their Super Bowl title without one of their core offensive players.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh confirmed Sunday what appeared likely Saturday: Tight end Dennis Pitta will miss the 2013 season as a result of the hip injury he suffered during Saturday's practice.
Harbaugh said the Ravens won't know the full extent of the damage to Pitta's hip until getting the results of an MRI exam, but he ruled out the possibility of Pitta returning this season.
"Dennis is out for the year," Harbaugh said. "It's the type of thing that he's not going to be able to come back from this year. There's enough damage in there."
Harbaugh said Saturday that Pitta dislocated the hip, but there have been multiple reports that Pitta fractured the hip as well.
Pitta underwent surgery last night.
"We're in the process of getting the MRI now," Harbaugh said. "We know it's a dislocated hip, but that's really all we know at this point. We don't know the extent of any other damage, which obviously will determine a lot if there's other damage there."
But Harbaugh did downplay the possibility of Pitta's injury being potentially career-ending and said that it would take something "really, really rare" to prevent Pitta from playing next season.
"We can't give you a final determination because we're waiting for the MRI, but there's been no word of anything like that," Harbaugh said.
Still, the loss of Pitta is a significant blow to the defending Super Bowl champions.
The 28-year old emerged as one of the centerpieces of Baltimore's offense last season, and, especially with Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco, was expected to be an even bigger part of the offense this season.
Pitta's 61 catches last year were second on the team behind only running back Ray Rice and his seven touchdown catches were second behind only Torrey Smith.
Pitta was also big for Baltimore in the playoffs. He had 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens' four playoff games, including four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown in Baltimore's Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens signed veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe Sunday, but Ed Dickson will be the primary player counted on to fill Pitta's void.
Dickson, a third-round pick of Baltimore in 2010, had just 21 catches last season, but he's just two years removed from catching 54 passes and has stood out maybe as much as anyone on the Ravens' offense through organized team activities, minicamp and the beginning part of training camp.
"It's tough, it's tough," Dickson said. "You lose a brother like that. ... I'll pick him up on my back and do everything I need to do."
But the injury also comes at an inopportune time for Pitta.
Pitta is in the final year of the rookie contract he signed in 2010 and is set to be a free agent after the season.
Baltimore had expressed an interest in working out a contract extension with Pitta at different times throughout the last several months. But even if he does end up back with the Ravens, it would be naïve not to expect that any sort of deal will be for significantly less than had he not suffered the injury.
Dickson expressed confidence that Pitta will successfully return from the injury.
"He'll definitely be back," Dickson said. "He's a warrior, and I know he's going to do treatment and try to get back as soon as possible."

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