Will Zachary Orr pass a physical?

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So why did recently-retired linebacker Zachary Orr unretire? As one league source put it on Wednesday morning, “He found a doctor who told him what he wanted to hear.”

The real question is whether Orr will find a doctor with one of the NFL’s various teams that will do the same thing. If the Ravens’ doctors thought Orr could have played without an unacceptable degree of risk due to a rare neck condition that could result in a serious, life-changing injury, he wouldn’t have been “forced” to retire in January.

Whether Orr will be able to continue his career will hinge on whether a doctor is willing to sign off on Orr’s ability to perform in a safe and adequate manner, without risk of a serious neck injury. Although some doctors will say whatever the person paying them wants the doctor to say, most won’t be inclined to put their name on a document that could become the gateway to a debilitating injury.

Surely, the Ravens would have liked to keep Orr around. He went from undrafted free agent to the team’s leading tackler in 2016. In Baltimore, doctors were able to set that aside and opt for a recommendation aimed at ensuring the player’s long-term health and safety. If any other doctor with any other team comes to a different conclusion, it will be interesting to hear the reasoning for it, because that doctor will essentially be saying the Ravens doctors got it wrong.

5 responses to “Will Zachary Orr pass a physical?

  1. The Ravens Doctor can’t be wrong, because the Ravens Doctor told him to go get a second opinion, in Texas who told him he would never play again. The Doctor from Texas is the one who would be wrong.

  2. I hope for his sake that either the doctor who has told him he can play is right or that no team will sign him. It would be terrible for the young man if a quack has told him what he desperately wants to hear – understandable, because I’m sure he wants to make the big money he undoubtedly would have gotten otherwise to support his family, and many football players have filled their lives with it to the extent that they don’t know what to do when it’s over – and he ends up with life changing injuries because of it.

  3. Asking a doctor to predict if an injury will recur in the future is not the same as asking him to diagnose an injury and evaluate how serious it is. Opinions are going to vary a lot more in the former case, because nobody really knows. Especially when an extremely rare congenital defect is involved.

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