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Friday open thread: Is Zach Orr making the right decision returning to NFL?

Zach Orr appears to be taking a big risk returning to the NFL. Do you think he’s making the right decision?

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As of Friday morning, Zach Orr remains in Detroit to finalize his physical with the Lions and tour with the facility. According to Orr’s agent, 15 other teams are interested in his services, and the young linebacker plans on visiting many of them before making a decision.

But before we discuss which team is right for Orr and what he may cost a franchise to add him to their roster, there’s a very fundamental question to ask: Is Zach Orr making the right decision in returning to the NFL?

Just five months ago, Baltimore Ravens doctors recommended Orr hang up his cleats for good because of a serious congenital spine malady. Originally, Orr complied with the doctor’s request, but after getting a differing opinion recently, Orr appears willing to go against the Ravens’ recommendations and return to play.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Do you think Orr is making the right decision by returning to the NFL?

My answer: This is a tough question to ask, because it’s impossible for us to put ourselves directly in his shoes without all of the information Orr has.

Still, it would be hard for me to find a good rationalization to come back to the NFL given the Ravens doctors’ daunting diagnosis. We aren’t talking about a minor risk here, the doctors told him he was at an increased risk to become paralyzed or even suffer death on the field. That’s all I need to hear to never put on football pads again.

I respect Orr’s decision to return to football, and recognize it is fully in his right to make that choice. And if NFL doctors clear him medically, then it may be completely rational for him to return to work. As doctor David J. Chao pointed out earlier in the week, physicians routinely disagree on diagnoses in the medical world. Orr may also feel like he needs football, since it’s the game he has played for all of his life.

But even if Orr feels like he only knows football, it wouldn’t be worth to me. It’s obviously easier for me to say that without the temptation of millions of dollars waiting for me. Still, if one professional-level doctor gives me such a serious diagnosis, I don’t think any temptation could drive me away from his advice.

Your turn.


Do you think Zach Orr is making the right decision by returning to the NFL?

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