Inside linebacker L.J. Fort suffered a season-ending torn ACL in Saturday's second preseason game, Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed.
Fort limped off the field in the second quarter and did not return to Baltimore's 19th straight preseason victory, 20-3, over the Carolina Panthers.
Losing Fort is a blow to Baltimore's depth at inside linebacker. Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison are talented second-year players and Harrison is ready to take on a bigger role, but Fort is a steady veteran who can be relied upon on both defense and special teams.
Fort played more defensive snaps last season (381) than Harrison (264), and Fort has been a mentor to both young linebackers. Fort was also the Ravens' best inside linebacker in coverage last year.
A long-term injury would likely mean a larger role at linebacker for Chris Board, and perhaps Kristian Welch, who also plays special teams. Another young inside linebacker, Otaro Alaka, did not play Saturday night and has been out with a knee injury.
The 31-year-old Fort is entering his third season with the Ravens after being signed as a free agent early in the 2019 season. He made an immediate impact solidifying the defense, and he was re-signed by the Ravens in April as a free agent.