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Ravens' Dennis Pitta preparing to play but future remains uncertain

Injured Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta continues to prepare for a return, but when that will be and if it will happen remains uncertain.

After every Ravens practice and before every game, injured tight end Dennis Pitta takes the field and puts himself through a workout. With backup quarterback Matt Schaub throwing to him, Pitta runs just about every route and at game speed.

On the physically unable to perform list as he rehabilitates his second fractured and dislocated hip injury in as many years, Pitta wouldn't be eligible to return to game action until the Ravens' Oct. 26 game against the Arizona Cardinals. But for that to happen, Pitta would first need to get clearance from doctors to play again.

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"Well, it's still status quo," Harbaugh said Friday. "In the sense of the status quo, he's been working really hard to get himself ready to play. That's what he's been working hard to do. What form that takes when the time comes will be up to him and his family and the medical people involved. Those conversations are taking place and I'm looking forward to seeing what the decisions are, just like everybody else. But that doesn't happen [for] another couple weeks I believe, and we'll know more from that point on."

Per league rules, players placed on the PUP list must sit out their team's first six games. Once that time elapses, teams get a five-week window in which players on PUP can return to practice while not counting against the 53-man roster. Then, there is a three-week window where teams need to decide whether to activate the player or keep him on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.

Time to move on

When he returned to the visiting locker room at Heinz Field following the victory over the Steelers and a game in which he got his first two NFL sacks, Ravens rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith had about 80 congratulatory text messages waiting for him.

By Thursday, he had returned about half of them, and he was heeding teammate Elvis Dumervil's advice and moving on.

"I just talked to 'Doom' and he told me to put that in the past and you can't live off them two sacks," said Smith, a fourth-round pick. "It's something you have to put in the books and get prepared for the next game."

End zone

Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons was not fined for the hit on Steve Smith Sr. that resulted in him injuring his back, per a league spokesman. ... Harbaugh didn't rule out making a roster move before Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline. One possibility would be promoting either wide receiver Jeremy Ross or cornerback Asa Jackson to handle returns. … The Indiana University basketball team, coached by Tom Crean, Harbaugh's brother-in law, will visit the Ravens at the Under Armour Performance facility Saturday. … Mike Gottfried, the former head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh, attended Ravens' practice Friday.

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