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Zach Orr changes story regarding second opinion

Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 18: Inside linebacker Zach Orr #54 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after making an interception in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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When linebacker Zach Orr announced his retirement in January, he said he talked to “multiple doctors and spine specialists” about the spinal condition which led him to walk away.

Apparently that’s not the case, but getting multiple opinions was part of his changing his mind and looking for a chance to play again.

The now-free agent linebacker told Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik on SiriusXM NFL Radio that at the time of his decision to walk away from football, he had only talked to Ravens doctors about the congenital spine deformity which was believed to put him at tremendous risk.

“It was probably a premature decision for me to retire so early just because I listened to one doctor,” Orr said. “After people found out I only went to one doctor, they were telling me, ‘You’ve got to go get a second opinion. It was kind of eating at me. Obviously, I wanted to play ball. I love ball. I went ahead and did that.

“Every opinion after that I found out that I’m not as at great a risk. Really, there was only one doctor that looked me in the eye and told me I was at greater risk. The rest of the doctors told me I wasn’t.”

That’s a pretty stark difference, and unusual that he wouldn’t have fielded multiple opinions from the start.

But with the Ravens convinced he was done playing football, they didn’t tender him as a restricted free agent. Now that he wants to return, he’s unrestricted and can sign with anyone. On the field, there’s no question. The 25-year-old Orr led the Ravens in tackles last year, and they were talking about a contract extension for him.

Now, he’s making visits, with the Lions first up, and others apparently scheduled. Those teams are all going to make sure their evaluations are thorough before they make a decision.