Ravens linebacker L.J. Fort suffered a torn ACL during Baltimore's preseason win over the Panthers on Saturday, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Fort will wait for the swelling to subside before undergoing surgery, per Fowler. Fort has been a part-time starter during his time in Baltimore, with 16 starts over the past two seasons.
This is the first major injury of the 31-year-old Fort's career. A former undrafted rookie, Fort's first regular season action took place with the Browns in 2012. He won an NFC championship ring as a member of the Seahawks in 2014. Fort spent time with the Bengals in 2014 before having a brief stint with the Patriots during New England's 2015 training camp.
"I haven't heard a final thing yet; I have to say unfortunately it does not look good from what I was told during the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Fort's injury following Baltimore's 20-3 win. "I think it got stuck in that Astroturf out there unfortunately. We'll get final word probably tomorrow with an MRI. But L.J.'s been playing great, practicing great, he's been leading our guys. He's in the weight room every morning at 5:30. It's going to be an unfortunate injury for him if that's what it turns out to be."
Fort's break came in Pittsburgh, where he spent four seasons as a backup. In 2018, Fort started two games while recording a then career-high 48 tackles. He signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract with the Eagles that offseason before being released after four games. He was quickly picked up by the Ravens, where he started in eight of his first 12 games with the team. In his first full season in Baltimore, Fort recorded 53 tackles while returning one of his two fumble recoveries for a touchdown. Fort's play helped the Ravens win 11 regular season games as well as the franchise's first playoff game since 2014.
Fort's injury will lead to more snaps for second-year players Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison along with four-year veteran Chris Board. Queen led the Ravens with 106 tackles las season, while Harrison made 44 tackles in six starts during his rookie season.
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