October 22 is quickly become the day of retirement rumor and speculation in the NFL.
Hot on the heels of reports claiming Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin is contemplating hanging up his cleats, a prominent member of the Baltimore Ravens has admitted today that 2015 could be his last year in the league.
Perennially injured tight end Derek Pitta, speaking via ESPN, revealed that he may not return to the league in 2016 unless he meets a fairly crucial target in the next few months.
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"I would like to think that if I can't make it back this year, what's going to change next year?" said Pitta.
"For me, in my mind, I'm working to get back this year. If I can't, that might be it."
The 30-year-old is currently looking to come back from a second fractured hip in two years, and, having come off the PUP list this week, the next few weeks are a crucial period for him.
With Pitta an important part of the Ravens' offense when healthy, and with Baltimore sitting on a 1-5 record, the pressure on him making a comeback in 2015 was already there in terms of a football perspective.
Now though, it looks like that pressure has just ramped up - today's comments effectively an ultimatum on a career that began with the Ravens back in 2010.
Returning to practice yesterday after a 13-month layoff was a huge step for Pitta, but he is clearly under no illusions about the road that lies ahead.
Unfortunately, unless there is a rapid improvement before January, Ravens fans might have to look for a new tight end to cheer on.
And, judging by the response on Twitter, it is fair to say a lot of Baltimore fans would be sad to see Pitta's career end like this:
Ravens fans: Should Pitta retire, or can he still be a success in Baltimore? Have your say in the comments below...
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