By Justin McGonigle SteelerNation.com
Zach Orr retired from the NFL at the age of 24 after being diagnosed with a congenital spinal condition that doctors said would end his NFL career. Now Orr said on NFLNetwork’s Good Morning Football that he is anticipating a return to the field after seeking additional opinions about his condition from other doctors. Orr has a vertebrae that wasn’t fully formed, but after receiving the positive news he seems intent on resuming his career.
Orr would have been a restricted free agent of the Baltimore Ravens, but because of the Ravens belief that he was retiring they didn’t tender an offer to Orr. Since the deadline has past to tender restricted free agents Orr will now become a free agent. Orr had developed into a budding star at inside linebacker for the Ravens. He earned second-team All-Pro honors will amassing 132 tackles, and 3 interceptions. Orr could fit perfectly into the middle of the Steelers 3-4 defense beside Ryan Shazier.
“When I first found out the news, it was definitely shocking and devastating, “Orr said. “Not only for me and my family, but pretty much everybody that kind of knew me. But just being around and doing other things, a lot of former players were telling me, ‘You might want to check it out. Because a lot of crazy things happen.’
“I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue…but there’s no actual evidence or facts that I’m at a higher risk than any other player. And it’s actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems.”
As I’ve touched on recently on this web site the Steelers remain thin behind starters Shazier, and Vince Williams. If Orr has still been working out and is in training camp form he would almost immediately take Williams job. Even though it isn’t something Kevin Colbert may consider he should. Orr will visit the Lions on Wednesday as he begins to look for a team.