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Ravens Still Waiting for Pitta Decision, Tomlin, Steelers May Face Fines

With the Baltimore Ravens (6-6) seeing a clearer path to the postseason, one question looming is whether or not it will include tight end Dennis Pitta.

On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether the player would be activated for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings (3-8). Pitta has been practicing since Nov. 20 but he remains on the Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list. The clock is ticking as the Ravens have until Dec. 11 to keep him on the list or activate him.

Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta

Should they activate him for this week’s game, they’ll have to do so prior to 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. Pitta has been moving around well in practice as he recovers from a July 27 hip dislocation.

Harbaugh said on Monday via ESPN.com, “We’ll go through this week and see how he does. If he can play, he will. We want to get him up. That’s our goal. It’s not 100 percent certain at this point.”

Pitta has been missed this season and in his absence the Ravens have utilized tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson. Over 12 games, the duo has a combined 47 catches, 554 yards and three touchdowns while Pitta sat in the second spot for receptions last season with his 61 receptions, 669 yards and seven touchdowns.

In other team news, cornerback Jimmy Smith, who got a concussion in last Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7), should return to action for Sunday’s game. Harbaugh said things are looking good for the player and he should be practicing on Wednesday.

For the Ravens at 6-6, they’ll need to win out but are looking at either a worse-case scenario AFC Wild Card spot or a possible AFC North title as they’ll end the season against division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4). Before then, they’ll have to play the Detroit Lions (7-5) and the New England Patriots (9-3).

If the season ended today, the Ravens would play the Indianapolis Colts (8-4) in the first round of the playoffs.

At 6-6, history may be on their side as it’s the third time in the team’s history they’ve sat with this record. For the 2002 season, they ended at 7-9 and missed the playoffs but for 2009, they finished at 9-7 with a postseason trip.

As for the Bengals, their remaining games include the Colts (8-4), the Steelers (5-7), the Vikings (3-8-1) and then the Ravens.

But one game at a time and for this week, the Ravens will get the win (-9, 43 o/u) as well as Cincinnati (-5.5, 44.5 o/u).

In other AFC North news, the league is expected to rule on the Mike Tomlin incident against wide receiver from Jacoby Jones in the Thanksgiving game against the Ravens.

Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin

Both Tomlin and the Steelers are expected to receive a hefty fine and media reports also have the team potentially losing a draft pick. Tomlin is still not expected to receive a suspension.

But the plot thickened on Monday as new video emerged on the incident. According to CBS Sports, during the kickoff return, it showed Tomlin stepped toward the field with Jones running toward him and then back on the white line where he had been standing.

It doesn’t look good for him. Jones did run away from the sideline as he approached Tomlin and was then caught by a Steelers player after a 73-yard run.

Tomlin has been adamant that he didn’t do anything and was quoted by FOX Sports Jay Glazer on Monday by saying, “If anybody thinks I or anybody else would do this on purpose they are crazy.”

On Monday after the team’s practice, Tomlin did not speak with the media. Maybe on Tuesday he’ll do so during his weekly news conference, scheduled for noon.

This week the Steelers will play the Miami Dolphins (6-6) and will get the win (-3, 41 o/u).




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