Dennis Pitta doesn't announce retirement but 'not delusional'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Dennis Pitta didn't announce his retirement Thursday, but the former Baltimore Ravens tight end acknowledged what fracturing his right hip again likely means for his career.

"I've dislocated my hip three times," Pitta said in his first comments since re-injuring his hip earlier this month. "Take it for what it is. I'm not delusional. I know and understand what that means. At the same time, I'm just taking one day at a time and trying to get back healthy. That's all that really matters."

Pitta, 31, used crutches to walk up to the podium for his media session, which was watched by owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh. He had surgery about a week ago and hopes to make a full recovery.

"I haven't put a lot of thought into what my future holds or what's going to happen," Pitta said. "I'm just trying to focus on my rehab."

Pitta was in good spirits and made a couple of jokes during his media session. He poked fun at how he was asked to speak to reporters when he isn't even a part of the team anymore. The Ravens cut Pitta on June 7.

This latest injury -- which Pitta described as more of a nightmare than deja vu -- comes after he made a remarkable comeback last season, when he led all NFL tight ends with 86 catches. But he suffered another hip injury earlier this month without being hit. During a voluntary offseason practice, Pitta stretched out for a pass and fell to the ground, after which he was unable to put any weight on his right leg.

"There wasn't any indication that my hip would give out again. It felt great," Pitta said. "I remember telling my wife a couple of days before it happened that I felt better than I ever have."

He added, "Things can change in an instant."

Harbaugh spoke about how much the organization loves Pitta.

"We'll see where it goes in the future," Harbaugh said. "It's been an honor and privilege to coach him."

A fourth-round pick by Baltimore in 2010, Pitta ranks No. 5 on the Ravens’ all-time receptions list with 224, and No. 2 among the franchise’s tight ends with 2,098 career receiving yards.

He was at the top of his game five seasons ago in the playoffs, when he caught 14 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore's championship run.

He sustained injuries to his right hip in 2013 and 2014. After he sat out the 2015 season, many believed his career was over.

But Pitta surprisingly returned last season, taking a $4 million pay cut and signing an injury waiver in order to play for Baltimore. He ended up catching the second-most passes in a single season by a Ravens player.

"I don't regret coming back and playing last season," Pitta said. "I felt great all year. I think I would've regretted it more, sitting at home, feeling as good as I did and not playing. It was a tremendous year for me personally to overcome what I did and prove a lot to myself."