Baltimore Ravens fans may feel some melancholy watching Orlando Brown line up for the Baltimore Ravens.
The younger Brown, of course. A former third-round pick from Oklahoma, Brown has been crucial in keeping star quarterback Lamar Jackson upright and healthy in recent years.
So why the melancholy? The elder Brown, who spent most of his career with the Baltimore Ravens franchise, could have been a Hall of Famer before a horrific injury and his tragic death.
Orlando Brown was the Ravens’ star left tackle
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Nicknamed Zeus, Orlando Brown — the older one — was a bruising offensive tackle in the 1990s.
Brown signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie in 1993 and joined the starting lineup a year later. He started eight games in 1994 and all 16 in 1995, the Browns’ final season before moving to Baltimore.
Brown started all of the Ravens’ first 32 games and started another 13 in 1998.
The veteran offensive tackle returned to Cleveland in 1999, where he started the first 15 games before he suffered a horrific eye injury. NFL official Jeff Triplette accidentally hit Brown in the right eye with a penalty flag, knocking the big man out of the game.
Brown, who suffered temporary blindness from the incident, sued the NFL for $200 million and received between $15 and $25million in a settlement.
Brown didn’t play in another NFL game until he re-signed with the Ravens in 2003. He played with the Ravens through the 2005 season and retired in the spring of 2006.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Brown totaled a 37 approximate value in his six seasons with the Ravens. That total ranks seventh in Ravens history among offensive lineman.
Brown tragically died in 2011
Orlando Brown’s temporary blindness wasn’t the only health issue he struggled with in his life.
Brown, who stood 6 feet 7 inches and weighed 370 pounds, died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment common among people with diabetes.
Brown was only 40 years old when he passed away. He left behind three young sons, as well as a daughter who didn’t live with him.
Orlando Brown Jr. is living up to his father’s lofty footsteps
Now back to the melancholy surrounding Orlando Brown and the Baltimore Ravens.
The older Brown died nearly a full decade ago. His son, Orlando Jr., is proudly living up in his father’s footsteps with the Ravens.
Baltimore drafted Brown, an All-American offensive tackle from Oklahoma, in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft. Brown started 10 games as a rookie and moved into Baltimore’s starting lineup on a full-time basis last year.
The powerful right tackle earned Pro Bowl honors and paved the way for Lamar Jackson‘s MVP-winning season. Brown graded well analytically and has formed an excellent tackle duo with Ronnie Stanley, the All-Pro left tackle.
Expectations remained high for Brown and the Ravens entering this season. Brown could finish his career having done something his father never did: win a Super Bowl.
All stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.