Am I only one who thinks this does not make a difference one bit?
I think he makes a huge difference. Flacco seemed to look for (and find) him a lot last year, esp in the playoff run.
I dont think hes going to go out there hurt, i dont think the team will let him if he wanted to. Clearly the team thinks hes going to be healthy enough to play or they wouldnt designate him for return to begin with. If hes been cleared to practice then hes healthy enough to play. its only a matter of game shape and conditioning at this point. If hes healthy enough for that and they decide to "shelf" him, he would have every right to file that complaint.
Players coming off injury are never worth what a healthy one is. That shouldnt even be in question. coming back and finishing the year is always better than not playing at all. His skills may not be in question but his health certainly will be and that effects his value greatly.
This is the issue i have with this, how much of Pitta being open could be accounted to how much attention teams paid to Boldin? One poster summed this up perfect a few months ago he said when X and Y together is what made you successful why do you believe you taking away X and asking Y to do what both X and Y do to continue that success is going to work? Besides unless this offensive philosophy changes we will see the same results, i'm glad Pitta is back but this doesn't change a thing offensive scheme and philosophy wise, it would be best for him to sit out the year get completely healthy we can get him for cheap, plus build this team around Joe.
Pitta gives a boost to the offense, provided he's sufficiently healthy and is able to knock the rust off. That determination will be made going forward. Someone earlier said it would be great for him to come back for the Steelers game on Thanksgiving. I personally think that's being too optimistic. But then again, I didn't think Suggs would come back last year as early as he did.
However, last year was a different situation. The Ravens were in the thick of the postseason hunt rather than marginally hanging on to it. I believe that the results of the next two games are going to influence the coaches decision regarding Pitta. If the Ravens are out of the playoff hunt, Pitta probably gets less (if any) playing time. Might as well shelve him at that point, bring up Furstenburg and see what the kid can do.
It's not going to make a significant difference, for many of the reason already gone over, but it could be that 3-4 point difference the Ravens need. Besides, Pitta has every reason to want to get out there since he's been cleared by the doctors. When you look at the TEs around the league. Pitta was going to have a hard go of it getting top dollar BEFORE he injured his hip. Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis. Now you have guys coming up like Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed.
Besides, look at how bad it was last year with the three game losing streak. Then, look at the Denver game in the playoffs. This team isn't done until they are officially buried and, honestly, 8-8 could still get that sixth seed.