Dennis Pitta is a fixture on the practice field during training camp, though not in the capacity that the tight end, quarterback Joe Flacco, or any Ravens executives, coaches and teammates would like.
Pitta remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list, so his time at practice is largely spent talking to the team's young tight ends, monitoring plays and consulting with Flacco, his closest friend on the team.
"To be honest with you, as unfortunate as it is, I've kind of become used to not having him out there," Flacco said Thursday. "It's been a while since I've had him out there, but I think he's doing all you can, obviously, throughout the course of the day to work out and get healthy. But we've got to rely on these young guys and focus on getting them better right now."
Pitta has been limited to just seven games over the past two seasons after dislocating and fracturing his hip in consecutive years. He hasn't abandoned hope of playing this season, but doctors have yet to fully clear him to practice.
Ravens mulling return options
The Ravens' unofficial depth chart listed Asa Jackson, Michael Campanaro (River Hill) and rookie DeAndre Carter as the team's three primary returners, with Jackson and Campanaro leading the way on kickoff and punt returns, respectively. But Rosburg made clear that the competition to replace the departed Jacoby Jones remains open.
In fact, seven players took repetitions as a returner Friday.
"At this point in time, we're running our system, and we want the returner to fit our system," Rosburg said. "We don't want to fit it to our returner, because we don't know who our returner is going to be yet."
Rosburg envisions three returners getting reps in preseason games, but he's hoping to give players as many opportunities as possible.
"I want to see everybody. I want to give everybody an opportunity," Rosburg said. "I tell these guys when they show up for football school, 'You're going to have an opportunity in our club to show what you can do.' And you see it every day in practice."