After just three seasons, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker, and the team's leading tackler, Zachary Orr is set to retire at the young age of 24.
What at first seemed like another routine battle scar for the NFL up-and-comer, a neck injury which caused him to miss the team’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, has now turned into a full-fledged career ender. Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun was quoted in saying that Orr now suffers a congenital neck condition, which was brought to light during an examination of a herniated disc.
2016 was a massive year for Orr. After two seasons as backup, Orr flourished as a starter in his third year finishing the season with Second-Team All-Pro honors after finishing with three interceptions, one forced fumble, and a team-leading 130 tackles. Orr was also on the verge of getting a restricted free-agent tender of $2.5 million, according to Zrebiec. While being forced out of the game due to doctor’s orders, Orr considers himself fortunate, saying, “I’m blessed and thankful that I’m able to walk away from the game in good health.”
Orr has been quoted in saying that he’s going to stay active off the field, volunteering for his local community and mentoring young men. Unfortunately, the Ravens defense will have to go on without one of their brightest young stars in 2017.