Dennis Pitta could play this season

The Baltimore Ravens are not ruling out a possible late-season for tight end Dennis Pitta.

Pitta suffered a dislocated and fractured hip in late July, and had surgery that included the removal of a bone fragment. According to Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Pitta did not sustain any cartilage or ligament damage.

Pitta has not been placed on injured reserve, and Harbaugh told reporters on Tuesday that the door remains open -- albeit slightly -- for Pitta to return later in the season.

"It's not procedural," Harbaugh said, according to the Baltimore Sun. "As far as coming back? When we saw there was no ligament or structural damage in there, it gave us hope."

Even if Pitta is unable to return this season, his long-term outlook remains positive.

"With a professional athlete like Dennis, his rehabilitation protocol should allow for him to return to full capability by next season," Arlington, Va.-based orthopedic hip surgeon Dr. Derek Ochiai told The Sun earlier this month. "I would expect him to be ready by the middle of [next] summer. What they let him do as far as offseason stuff and training camp next year is obviously far ahead of him and up to the Ravens and Dennis. But with a lot of hard work and patience, he should be back."