Week before playing Steelers, Ravens add former Steelers linebacker L.J. Fort
In the days prior to their first of two annual showdowns with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens added a reinforcement from the other side.
The Ravens earlier this week signed L.J. Fort, a special-teams ace and inside linebacker who spent four seasons with the Steelers. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Fort would be “right in the mix” to play defense and special teams immediately.
“We’ve played against him quite a bit, as you know,” Harbaugh said during his news conference earlier in the week. “He’s played middle linebacker … been a starter for the Steelers on and off, a top-level special teams player. We’re very fortunate that he became available due to the injury situation up there in Philly, and he’s a fit for us, defensively and special teams-wise. So, (he is a) good player — just a good player — and he’s going to help us on defense and special teams.”
Coach Harbaugh on team's status and addition of linebacker L.J. Fort: pic.twitter.com/2sjVMXxK8z
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 30, 2019
Fort led the Steelers in special-teams snaps played in 2018 with 333, according to footballoutsiders.com. He also played more defense last season than in any of his previous three seasons with the Steelers (2015 was spent mostly on the practice squad).
An athletic but undersized linebacker, Fort started his NFL debut for the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie out of Northern Iowa in 2012 and played 16 games that season. But he played in only one NFL regular-season game the next two seasons with six teams before finding a niche with the Steelers in 2016.
Fort signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles in March but was cut last week.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .