Baltimore Ravens linebacker and former Pittsburgh Steelers defender L.J. Fort suffered a torn ACL in the team’s 20-3 win over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, according to multiple reports.
#Ravens LB L.J. Fort suffered a torn ACL Saturday against the Panthers, per source. Starting linebacker gets his first major injury of a nine-year career. Will wait for swelling to subside before surgery coming.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 22, 2021
Fort will miss the entire 2021 season, and is expected to undergo surgery to repair the torn ACL in the coming weeks.
The diagnosis comes as no surprise, as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed concern about the severity of Fort’s injury following Saturday’s preseason affair.
“Unfortunately it does not look good from what I was told during the game,” Harbaugh said postgame. “With a knee injury. I think it got stuck in that AstroTurf out there, unfortunately.”
Coach Harbaugh on L.J. Fort's status after the knee injury. pic.twitter.com/nMRRjURq48— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 22, 2021
Fort has recorded 53 total tackles, six tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two fumbles recoveries and a defensive touchdown over the last two seasons in Baltimore.
Fort, 31, has had stints with six different teams over his career, but his longest tenure was a four-year spell with Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2018. He tallied 63 total tackles, five tackles-for-loss, two tackles and a scoop-and-score while with the Steelers.
Fort initially signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa in 2012.
“But L.J.’s been playing great, practicing great. He’s been leading our guys,” Harbaugh added. “It’s going to be an unfortunate injury for him if that’s what it turns out to be.”
According to Harbaugh, Fort will undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury.