On Saturday, August 24th, 2019 the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck, announced that he is retiring from playing football in the National Football League. This decision was not easy at all for the superstar quarterback, but he cited battling constant injuries as well as rehab assignments have robbed him of his love for the game of football.
The Colts will now have to rely on the quarterback work of Jacoby Brissett for the upcoming 2019-2020 NFL season. He has filled in for the injured Luck in the past, and he was average at best although he was playing on a very poor team at that point. The team should be much better this time around, and Indianapolis has confirmed their belief that Brissett will flourish in their offensive system this season and in the future.
The Announcement and Fan Reaction:
The announcement came on Saturday night while the Colts were playing their third preseason game at home against the Chicago Bears. Luck was planning on announcing this breaking news on Sunday, but the news leaked early forcing him to address the matter before he wanted to. The fans at Lucas Oil Stadium booed Luck off the field after the preseason game ended which has created a great deal of controversy surrounding the issue.
Luck’s Injury History:
The retiring quarterback was the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He was selected by and played his entire pro football career with the Indianapolis team. He found very early success as he led the Colts to the playoffs in his first three seasons as the starting quarterback in Indianapolis. Including getting his team to the AFC championship game in 2014.
Then in 2015, he suffered a severe shoulder injury in game three of the 2015 NFL season. Injuries to his shoulder, ribs, and kidneys kept him out of 26 games as well as the entire 2017 football season. He had an amazing comeback last year, and brought the Colts back in to the playoff picture. Luck was once again bit by the injury bug early into this season as he was dealing with a strained calf which later developed into a high ankle sprain sidelining him from football early on during the 2019 campaign. The pain was enough to drive Luck to retire prior to the 2019-2020 NFL season.
“I’ve been stuck in this process,” says Luck. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game … the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football.
“This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”
“I’m in pain; I’m still in pain,” Luck explained. “It’s been four years of this pain, rehab cycle. It’s a myriad of issues — calf strain, posterior ankle impingement, high ankle sprain. Part of my journey going forward will be figuring out how to feel better.”
“It was Monday,” the Indianapolis Colts general manager, Chris Ballard stated. “We all sat down and had a talk and continued through the week. Emotional talks on our parts. Not any negative emotional talks. Just some real honest talks. But did not get a sense. I watched Andrew go through the shoulder, his routine and how he rehabbed and worked through things. He was going through the same process all the way from when he walked in the building. He came in Monday and started working through this.”
“It’s very difficult,” Luck replied. “I love this team, I love my teammates.”
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hear it,” Luck explained regarding the boos. “Yeah, it hurt.”
“We’ve got a good football team. This is a good football team,” says Ballard. “We are young. We are good on both fronts. We have some good skill players. And a good young quarterback. We are not going to ask Jacoby Brissett to be Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck was a unique, unique player. But Jacoby Brissett is a winning football player in this league and, I think you heard what Andrew said, Jacoby Brissett is a rare, rare leader. He is. He’s a rare human being, man. That locker room loves Jacoby Brissett.”
“We have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness for the blood, sweat and tears he spilled as No. 12,” explained Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. “Part of our heart is broken tonight. We know we must go forward.”
Reactions from other NFL Quarterbacks:
Deshaun Watson: “It was mind-blowing. It was something that of course caught everyone off guard. But, hey, he can control his own future. He’s a great player. He’s a great quarterback. One of the top five quarterbacks in the league. And he’s doing it for the right reasons. For himself.”
Drew Brees: “I think I’m probably like everybody else. A bit surprised and stunned, too. We heard it when we were on the sideline, actually — somebody had gotten wind of it during the game. Listen, Andrew’s a friend. I’ll exchange text messages with him from time to time. So I’ll be reaching out to him to check on him.”
Russell Wilson: “I’m praying for him, praying that he stays encouraged. This game can take a toll on us physically but also emotionally, spiritually, everything else. I think that he’s demonstrated class the whole time through everything. … Being the No. 1 pick and everything else, there’s a lot of pressure on him, and I think that he handled it with grace, and he handled it really well and had a tremendous career for how long he played.”
Dak Prescott: “I mean helluva player, helluva player. Helluva guy the little bit I know of him being able to talk to him before a game and sharing a little bit of things. … So respect his decision, wish him the best. Just know that he was one of my favorite players to watch around the league and learn little things from. Hate to see a great player like that leave the game, but like I said, don’t know the details, don’t want to speak on that. I’m not entitled to an opinion on that.”
Patrick Mahomes: “Knowing Andrew, he’s a great football player, but he’s also a great human being. I haven’t seen the full [scope] of the news, but I know he’s going to make the right decision for himself and his family.”