Baltimore Ravens top tackler Zach Orr retired from the NFL on Friday at age 24 after learning last month of a congenital neck/spine condition.
Orr, a third-year linebacker, discovered the condition after suffering two herniated discs atop his vertebrae making a tackle late in a 31-27 Christmas Day loss to Pittsburgh.
Doctors conducted a CAT scan that revealed his condition, which puts him at risk of death or serious injury should he play again.
“I’m really just blessed and thankful that we were able to find this problem,” Orr said.
“The doctors and Ravens medical staff probably ended up saving my life and definitely allowed me to live a normal lifestyle.