Another former player who knows all about injuries leading to early retirement doesn’t think Zach Orr‘s swift return to the NFL will be so easy.
Discussing the linebacker’s situation in a recent interview with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin, ex-Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley suggested teams will be hesitant to clear Orr just months after he walked away from football with a spinal condition.
“I think it’s going to be tough,” Finley said. “Zach is a great guy; I’ve followed him in the NFL – awesome, awesome guy. But at the end of the day, the league has their butts to cover, and teams have their butts to cover, so I think it’s going to be difficult for him to get on a team. Especially with all the head injuries, the settlements that’s coming out. It’s going to be very tough for any guy that had a neck or head injury to get back in the NFL from this point on.
Orr, who earned second-team All-Pro honors for his a breakout season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2016, recently explained that his decision to come out of retirement was the result of additional medical opinions yielding more positive evaluations.
Interest in the 25-year-old was understandably quick to pick up after he suddenly became available in late June, and he’s already taken several team visits.
Despite the seemingly hot market, he’s still yet to sign. It’s unclear whether there have been any reservations on the part of medical staffs, though Orr’s agent told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that “everything looks great” after his physical with the Detroit Lions.
Finley last played for the Packers back in 2013, when he suffered a bruised spinal cord and was forced to undergo spinal fusion surgery. Doctors eventually cleared him to play, but he was never able to catch on with another team.
– With h/t to Pro Football Talk
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