Baltimore Ravens linebacker Zach Orr has been forced to retire at the age of 24 due to a neck injury.
Orr says he visited doctors after discomfort in his neck resulted in him missing the final game of the season.
A subsequent scan discovered a congenital neck and spine condition Orr has had since birth, meaning he has cut short a promising NFL career after a breakout season that saw him finish as the team's leading tackler.
"I'm kind of forced to walk away from the game of football," Orr said Friday in front of reporters.
"When I first found out the news, it was shocking. Football is something I've done my whole life."
LB Zachary Orr has announced he is retiring from the NFL due to a congenital neck/spine condition.Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 20, 2017
Orr also addressed reports that suggested the Ravens tried to talk him out of retirement. He claims that is "110 per cent false" and the team continues to support him in this decision.
Before his retirement, Orr played three seasons, but was really only relevant this past year when he broke out for 132 combined tackles, tied for ninth in the league. He also had three interceptions and a forced fumble en route to a second-team All-Pro selection in his position