Ravens lose leading tackler Zach Orr to surprising retirement after just three seasons

Shutdown Corner

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Zach Orr missed the team’s Week 17 game with what the team said was a neck injury. He was put on injured reserve, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. The Ravens were already eliminated from a playoff spot. The Baltimore media didn’t make a big deal out of it.

A few weeks later, Orr retired after just three NFL seasons. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Orr retired because of a “serious injury.” The Ravens couldn’t talk him out of it, Rapoport said.

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun said Orr is retiring due to a congenital neck condition. He didn’t sound concerned about it when the season ended, but further tests showed the condition. Orr was on the verge of getting a restricted free-agent tender this offseason worth more than $2.5 million, Zrebiec said.

It’s a huge loss for the Ravens. Orr led the team with 132 tackles, 40 more than anyone else on the defense. Orr was a backup his first two seasons, but flourished as a first-time starter in 2016. He was an up-and-coming star for the Ravens, and now he’s retired at age 24.

We have seen other NFL players retire suddenly and at a young age in recent years. The most famous example is probably San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, who retired after a good rookie season, citing concussion concerns. Now the Ravens have lost their own young inside linebacker after a breakout season.

Zach Orr retired suddenly due to injury. (AP)
Zach Orr retired suddenly due to injury. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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