Baltimore Ravens: Things Learned from OTAs

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Sep 21, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) winces in pain after getting injured during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Pitta had a second hip surgery due to a dislocated hip, safety Terrence Brooks tore his ACL and MCL in week 15 last season, cornerback Jimmy Smith ended his season with a foot injury and the Ravens are trying to avoid injury this offseason.

Wide receivers Michael Campanaro and Aldrick Robinson went down with injuries early in OTAs, which will keep them out until training camp. With those exceptions, the players have avoided the injury bug. The biggest stories are the ones making a comeback this offseason from their season-ending injuries.

The fact Pitta showed up to voluntary workouts means he knows a return is possible this season

Smith was originally supposed to be out until training camp when he first had his foot surgery, but he has made excellent progress. He was on the field during OTAs and looks to be ready for the beginning of the season.

Smith is the secondary’s top cornerback, so the fact he is on track to be return is good news. They struggled last season giving up nearly 250 yards per game through the air, which ranked 23rd in the NFL.

Brooks has made a strong comeback as he began to take reps with the starting defense during OTAs. The biggest question is what he can do when contact is allowed.

During OTAs no live contact is allowed, so he can work with the starters. If he can continue to work with the starters in minicamp with contact, he can start working toward a return for the regular season. His return will also add more depth to the safety position, which the Ravens could use.

The biggest question is Pitta. He was on the field during OTAs and has been called “fully recovered” several times. However, the question is whether he will be football ready in time.

No timetable has been given for his return. Because he’s on the field, his return is possible. The fact he showed up to voluntary workouts means he’s trying to get back to the field. And he thinks it is within reach.

Next: The Players are Rising to the Challenge