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Former Ravens LB Zach Orr Announces Retirement From NFL

Free agent LB Zach Orr announced via The Players Tribune on Friday that he’s once again retiring from the NFL.

“Today, I’m officially retiring from professional football … again. And I’m even more at peace this time around because the teams have spoken. If there was any way I could come back, I would.

“Now, I know that’s not possible.

Orr says that doctors informed him that he wasn’t just putting his future health at risk, but his life.

Unfortunately, Orr was born with a rare congenital spine condition that caused his C-1 vertebrae to not completely develop. In fact, Orr says it’s about 80 percent as big as it should be, and it’s “kind of split at each end, making it weaker and more prone to cracking, breaking or even shattering.”

According to Orr, he met with six teams in person and interviewed with another 11 over the phone in an attempt to make a comeback, but he couldn’t get any of them to clear him medically.

Orr, 25, wound up signing on with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of North Texas back in May of 2014. He played out the final year of his rookie contract and is now an unrestricted free agent.

The Ravens placed Orr on season-ending injured reserve towards the end of December.

In 2016, Orr appeared in 15 games for the Ravens and recorded 133 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and five pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 81 linebacker out of 87 qualifying players.