On September 21, 2014, Dennis Pitta dislocated his right hip. He missed the remainder of the 2014 season and all of the 2015 season before returning to NFL action this year. It was a long, rough, arduous journey.
Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of his injury.
“I’m going to be honest: I didn’t even know,” Pitta said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, laughing. “I’m glad you told me, but it’s definitely not an anniversary that I want to celebrate. But thanks for informing me.”
After the injury, Pitta, then 29, was told his career was over.
“I’ve seen a lot of hip specialists over the last couple years, and that seemed to be the theme among all of them,” Pitta said. “I would be too high-risk to take the field, and really, in their minds, it was going to be difficult to be in a position where I felt good enough to play. That was kind of all I was told. It was difficult, certainly, but I just took my rehab one day at a time and just told myself, ‘We’ll see how I feel down the road.’ I got myself in a position where I felt good. And here I am now.”
Pitta’s initial goal was to be able to walk again and live a normal life. Eventually, however, he wanted more.
“I felt better and better, and I think it was this past spring before we got started in OTAs where I felt like I was going to be able to get back out there,” he said. “I think if there was any lack of confidence, I wouldn’t be out here. If I had to question it at all, I would like to think that I was smart enough not to go through with it. In my mind, I’m totally confident in it. I feel really good and feel like I’m able to move and run like I once used to. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t be in this position.”
Pitta isn’t the only Raven returning from injury this season. There’s also Steve Smith, Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, among others.
“We joked about it last year,” Pitta said. “We had a pretty good IR team. Terrell Suggs was a part of that and a lot of big-time players for us. Certainly that’s not what you want to have. Last year was a tough season for us with all the injuries and the way it turned out, but it’s good to have everybody back. Now it’s about building on what we’ve done the last two weeks.”
Pitta had three catches for 39 yards in the Ravens’ 13-7 win over Buffalo and nine catches for 102 yards in their 25-20 win over Cleveland.
“It certainly hasn’t been perfect, and we’ve got a lot of room for improvement,” Pitta admitted. “But it’s nice to be 2-0 and moving forward. I think what you have to realize is it’s tough to get a win in the NFL any week, no matter who you’re playing. We came out and beat, in my opinion, a good Buffalo Bills team. I think every roster in the NFL is a good roster, and any team can win any week. You’ve seen that across the board. To be 2-0 regardless of who you’ve beaten is a good thing. We certainly know we can play better, and we hope to going forward.”
The Ravens (2-0) play the Jaguars (0-2) in Jacksonville this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.