In terms of padded training camp practices, Sunday’s practice was a little more subdued – or perhaps it just seemed that way given the action-packed practice on Saturday, which was filled with plenty of fights and even a season-ending injury. That’s a great segue into the camp notes for Sunday’s practice. Here you go…
Harbaugh Confirms Dennis Pitta Is Out For The Season
The news Ravens fans had been dreading was officially confirmed by head coach John Harbaugh following practice. Dennis Pitta will miss the 2013 season with a dislocated hip and the Ravens will not use the “designated to return” tag on Pitta as they did with linebacker Ray Lewis during the previous, and first, season that particular designation was made available to teams.
It’s cliche’ to say “next man up” as a way to feel better about an injury, but in situations like this, while it may be true, it’s just difficult to say that phrase and actually mean it. Pitta had an extremely high value to the Ravens offense and his loss will be tough to overcome.
Ravens Sign Vinsanthe Shiancoe
Even before Pitta’s injury, former Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe began to make news in Baltimore.
On Friday, Shiancoe was spotted at Ravens training camp as a spectator, speaking with general manager Ozzie Newsome. The previous day, Shiancoe was in Tampa Bay working out for the Buccaneers.
Prior to Pitta’s injury, Shiancoe’s addition wouldn’t have been big news, but given the loss of the franchise’s best tight end, his signing almost became inevitable.
While I was walking between practice fields, Shiancoe emerged from the locker room and joined his new teammates. With about an hour left of practice at that time, Shiancoe did participate for one play during “trashcan” drills where the lineman are substituted with two trashcans so the offense can work on passing routes. Shiancoe ran a basic out route but wasn’t targeted by Flacco.
Following practice, Shiancoe worked with a few offensive coaches on one of the practice fields to begin getting acclimated to the Ravens offense.
Shiancoe is a local athlete, growing up in Prince George’s County and playing collegiately at Morgan State. He will wear number 81.
James Ihedigbo Hurts Wrist, Returns To Practice
The injury bug almost took another bite out of the Ravens as safety James Ihedigbo injured his left wrist. Ihedigbo was participating in special teams drills and awkwardly jammed his wrist as another player tried to elude him.
Ihedigbo would stay on the ground for a few minutes before walking off of the field shaking his wrist. Twenty minutes later, he appeared to be fine and continued to practice with his teammates.
Asa Jackson Is Making An Impression
Second-year cornerback Asa Jackson is making strides early in atraining camp. It appears that each practice, Jackson is positioning himself correctly to deflect a pass and make himself known.
Jackson made a minimal impact on the Ravens last year, and was even suspended for four games for violating the league’s policy for performance enhancing drugs. The Ravens have seen cornerback Chykie Brown make some major strides, but Jackson is someone to keep an eye on as the Ravens begin to play their preseason contests.
Matt Furstenberg Fights to Stand Out
Former Maryland Terrapins tight end Matt Furstenberg has gotten a lot of attention from the Ravens fan base due to his local ties. Furstenberg was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent and is battling Billy Bajema for the third tight end spot on the roster.
Furstenberg has received even more attention now that Pitta is out for the season. On Sunday, Furstenberg caught a 40-yard pass over safety Christian Thompson, for one of the longest pass completions of the day. This was Furstenberg’s biggest play of camp so far, but he hasn’t been noticeable otherwise.
The Ravens are thin at tight end, but Furstenberg’s chances of making the team took a hit with the addition of Shiancoe. You’d have to think that by this point, if the Ravens were high on Furstenberg, they wouldn’t have added Shiancoe.
Sometimes you can easily tell the impression a player has made on the team by the roster moves made around said player.
The Ravens will practice on Monday at 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday will be their first day off since starting their training camp practices as a team this past Thursday.
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