The NFL is abuzz after the surprising retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck. The announcement came during the team’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears, but of course Luck’s retirement was the story of the night. The former number one pick was later unfortunately booed off the field by the fans that cheered him just months ago. During his retirement speech to the media, Luck pointed out the cycle he’s been through over the past four years of injury, pain, rebab and repeat. Zak Keefer who covers the Colts for the Athletic pointed out Luck’s injury history since he was drafted in 2012. Torn cartilage in two ribs, a partially torn abdomen, a lacerated kidney, at least one concussion, a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, and the injury that was the proverbial cherry on top was a calf/ankle injury.
There were some subtle signs pointing to this move. The Colts said they weren’t going to announce the Week 1 regular season starter showing Luck’s ankle/calf injury was going to require some extra rehab time. The fans in Indy booed a QB who put his body on the line for years, which was pretty disturbing, but the commentary from national voices like Doug Gottlieb saying Luck retired from football because rehabbing was “too hard” was even worse. An NFL player put his body and his future first. As many players have done with Luck, fans need to show their support to a QB that will be known as a talented player but dealt with tough injuries.
The 2018 comeback player of the year said the joy from the game was gone in 2016. In a rarity, a player stayed true to himself, as he if he was injured again, he would leave the game he’s played for many years. Reaction across the league has been in full support for the Colts QB many saying they were shocked by the decision but remain in full support of Luck. This is the second retirement before the regular season of a big-name player age 30 or younger. Rob Gronkowski also retired after a career filled with touchdowns and dances but also with injuries.
Many may forget that Hall of Fame players retired from the game at a relatively young age including Jim Brown (29), Barry Sanders (31) and hall of fame caliber players for example Lions WR Calvin Johnson (30). As more information comes out about players health after a lengthy career, this may be a trend for things to come. Andrew Luck retired around the age where many QB’s are at the peak of their careers. Unfortunately, results will be what Andrew Luck is actually remembered for in many NFL recaps. Since being drafted to the Colts after the “suck for Luck campaign”, the Colts have been 63-49 with 4 playoff appearances. 2018 was the first season since 2014 the Colts made the NFL’s second season. Part of the problem for #12 in Indianapolis, was injuries. Since the start of 2015, Andrew has missed 26 out of a possible 64 games. This was as close as we have come to a replication of the 49er’s classic QB transition from Joe Montana to Steve Young. From Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, Colts fans were prepared for many years of success. Luck chose his life, his happiness and his future over many years of potential unhappiness, pain and injuries. Let’s not forget how Peyton Manning left the Colts, missing a season due to neck surgery.
Moving forward, the Colts have their QB for at least the next season. Jacoby Brissett is set to be the signal caller on offense. With players like Eric Ebron, TY Hilton and Marlon Mack the Colts will compete for an AFC South title. Although they won’t have Luck, they’ll have a good shot at getting a division championship.
- John Luck (@jluck_89)