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‘He’s a fit for us defensively’: Needing an inside linebacker, Ravens sign veteran L.J. Fort

The Ravens signed inside linebacker L.J. Fort on Monday, adding depth and another option at a position that has struggled mightily in recent weeks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Philadelphia Eagles released Fort, 29, on Friday, partly to make room for cornerback Orlando Scandrick and partly to recoup a compensatory draft pick. Fort, who signed a three-year, $5.5 million deal with the Eagles in March, didn’t play on defense during the Eagles’ first four games, though he did play 75 special teams snaps.

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The Ravens’ need for another inside linebacker first arose when rookie Otaro Alaka (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. But after the Ravens’ poor play inside continued in Sunday’s 40-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns, the importance of a roster move only grew.

Fort has appeared in 65 total games for five teams since he went undrafted in 2012, starting three. His most successful season came with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, when he had 48 tackles, including three for loss, and a sack in 15 games. The Ravens travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday for an important AFC North meeting.

“We played against them quite a bit, as you know, and he’s played middle linebacker ... quite a bit from the start with the Steelers, on and off," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Monday. "Top-level special teams player. I think we’re very fortunate that he became available due to the injury situation out there in Philly. He’s a fit for us defensively and special teams-wise, so a good player. Just a good player. He’s going to help us on defense and special teams.”

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