One of the biggest stars in the NFL has decided to retire in his prime.
Quarterback Andrew Luck, beset with a high ankle sprain that has jeopardized his 2019 season, has informed the Indianapolis Colts of his plans to give up the game. Luck, just 30 years old, spoke with media following the Colts game against the Bears where he made the shocking decision official.
Luck has already told Colts owner Jim Irsay of his plans. Luck has three years and $64 million remaining on his contract.
Luck was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2018 after missing the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. But he has been bothered since the spring with what the Colts originally thought was a calf injury. But when the injury showed no sign of improvement, further investigation showed an ankle injury.
The Colts played the Chicago Bears on Saturday in Indianapolis and Luck was on the sidelines nursing his injury. But as of Monday morning, he and the organization that has relied so much on him will be wondering how to move on.
Luck was the first overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Stanford and immediately began to make an impression with his strong arm and sharp intellect. The Colts made the postseason in each of his first three seasons, including consecutive AFC South titles. The Colts also played in the 2014 AFC Championship Game, the famous Deflategate Game against the Patriots.
Luck’s problems with injuries began in 2015 when he banged up his shoulder in Week 3. Since then, he has missed 26 games with shoulder, rib and kidney injuries.
“It’s been four years of this injury-pain cycle,” said Luck. “And for me to move forward in my life the way I want to, it didn’t involve football.”
In 2018, Luck threw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns to lead the Colts to a 10-6 record and a postseason victory in the Wild Card round before being eliminated by the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round.
This season, Luck was on the field for only three days of training camp before the Colts shut him down because he was having trouble moving around in the pocket.
Late last month, he told the media he would not contemplate returning to the team until he was 100 percent well because of the trauma caused during his absence in 2017.
The Colts will now turn to veteran Jacoby Brissett, who they acquired from the New England Patriots in 2015. Brissett started 15 games, throwing for 3,098 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions after Luck hurt his shoulder. The Colts were 4-12 which led to the firing of coach Chuck Pagano.
Unlike the 2015 season, the Colts are a much deeper team and seem better equipped to deal with Luck’s absence than they were back then. But Brissett does not have the arm or the field presence to replicate Luck’s skill set and this promises to be a long season for a team recently considered one of the up-and-coming programs in the NFL.