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Ravens expecting tight end Dennis Pitta to return to practice before season opener

Ravens expecting tight end Dennis Pitta to return to practice before season opener
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta speaks to the media in July after returning to practice after two hip procedures. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

With Benjamin Watson being placed on injured reserve because of a torn right Achilles tendon and Nick Boyle and Darren Waller to open the season serving multiple-game suspensions, the Ravens are in need of some good news at the tight end position.

Coach John Harbaugh provided a glimmer after Monday's practice when he said Dennis Pitta is on pace to return from a broken finger to practice sometime before the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.

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"Dennis has missed a lot of time, so we have to get him back out there," Harbaugh said. "I do think he can practice and play with the time, but we have to get him out there. He was not out there today."

The 6-foot-4, 238-pound Pitta was limited to just seven games in 2013 and 2014 because of injury, hasn't played in a full 16-game schedule since 2012, and sat out the entire 2015 campaign due to a broken hip. Pitta broke his finger during a scuffle with rookie linebacker Kamalai Correa during practice on Aug. 1.

Harbaugh said he anticipates that tight end Maxx Williams could return after Thursday night's preseason finale after the New Orleans Saints.

"Maxx Williams is going to be back out here practicing shortly," Harbaugh said. "His issue, we had to rest it for a few weeks. He will be back out here practicing shortly after the New Orleans game."

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