Ravens linebacker Zach Orr retires at 24 with spinal injury

Posted at 2:34 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 14:34:28-05

Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr has announced his retirement after learning he has a congenital spinal condition.

The 24-year-old Orr led the Ravens this season with 132 tackles. He joined Baltimore in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of North Texas and stepped into a starting role this season, playing the middle linebacker position once held by Ray Lewis and Daryl Smith.

Orr hurt his neck on Christmas Day in a game against Pittsburgh and missed the season finale against Cincinnati. An examination revealed he had a herniated disc, but further testing and a CT scan that revealed a spinal condition he wasn't aware he had.

Orr was told he could not pass a physical and that playing would be dangerous, so he had no choice but to retire.

In addition to being the Ravens' leading tackler this season, Orr had three interceptions, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

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