PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta would normally be getting ready for another NFL season right now with the Baltimore Ravens. But a third major hip injury ended his season before it even started,. and he was released from the team in June.
However, Pitta says he is not officially done with football.
“I’m not officially retired,” Pitta said from the sideline of BYU’s season-opener against Portland State. “I guess I’ll leave it at that. Obviously, three hip injuries, it’s tough to continue. But, I’m still not retired. I’m going to continue rehabbing and hope to get fully healthy again.”
It’s especially frustrating because after coming back from two hip injuries that ended his seasons in 2014 and 2015, Pitta just had the best season of his NFL career. He played in all 16 games, and led all NFL tight ends with 86 catches. But a third hip injury in training camp may be career ending.
“It’s part of the game, but you try to avoid them as much as you can,” Pitta said about injuries. “In my case, it’s been part of my career and something I’ve had to deal with. You’ve just got to try and overcome it each time. I had a good year last year, felt healthy and good going into this year. But it’s just frustrating that I had another setback.”
So now Pitta is trying broadcasting. He’ll work four games on the radio this season for the Ravens.
“Yeah, I’ve kind of looked down on you guys, and now I’m kind of joining forces,” Pitta said with a smile. “But I mean, I think it will be fun. It gives me an opportunity to be around the team and the game a little bit more. Hopefully, it’s something that I can do long term.”
Pitta has been impressed with another former BYU star, defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, who will begin his second season in Baltimore.
“He’s working hard in fall camp right now, which is part of the game I don’t miss,” Pitta said. “But, Bronson was a high draft pick and they’ve invested a lot in him. He’s going to be a good player for them over the years.”
Hard to believe, but Saturday was BYU’s second all-time leading receiver’s first time back at LaVell Edwards Stadium since leaving in 2010.
“The way our schedule is set up, it’s impossible for me to get out to a game,” said Pitta, who had 221 catches for 2,901 yards and 21 touchdowns during his BYU career. “So, it’s just so fun being back in the stadium and feeling the crowd and the atmosphere. You forget how fun it was to play here.”