At 6:30 PM Saturday, August 24, 2019, I was checking Twitter to see what was happening in the world of sports and the first tweet I see read the following. From ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter:
“Filed to ESPN: Andrew Luck has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL, per source. There will be a press conference to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out.”
I collapsed to the floor in shock. Andrew Luck is not a quarterback who was heading into his later 30’s like many other quarterbacks, or someone who suffered a career-ending injury, this is an elite quarterback who is in the middle of his prime and just came off a spectacular season.
This news sent shock waves throughout the NFL as seeing a 29-year-old star quarterback retiring two weeks before the season was unbelievable. The NFL lost a great quarterback, and what is unfortunate is the previous Indianapolis Colts regime ruined his career, and the current one that are doing things right, will now have to pay for its mistakes.
Andrew Luck came into the league as one of the most hyped and sure-fire quarterback prospects in NFL history and immediately showed why he was the number one pick. Luck in his first three seasons in the NFL carried an average at best defense, a running game that disappeared often, and a leaky offensive line to an 11-5 record each season, and a playoff record of 3-3, including an AFC Championship game appearance in 2014. After that, his career went downhill as he missed half of 2015 with injuries, then in 2016, played through other injuries, and then missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. While having a successful 2018, he was once again battling through injury before this upcoming season and retired as he was mentally drained through all the rehab and pain.
During Ryan Grigson’s tenure, 2012-17, Andrew Luck was pressured 16 times per game, which was the most of any quarterback during that time and was sacked more than 40 times twice. Also, Grigson drafted three offensive lineman, Hugh Thorton, Jack Mewhort and Khaled Holmes, before the 7th round, and all of them were busts.
It is sad Grigson could not surround Luck with a proper offensive line to protect him from all the injuries he suffered such as rib, abdomen, lacerated kidney, a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and a calf/ankle injury that led to his retirement. Also, forcing Luck to carry the offense and forcing him to win shootouts contributed to ruining what once looked to be a legendary career.
Now, the Indianapolis Colts will turn to Jacoby Brissett to carry their young core and a new regime in a now bleak and uncertain future. This will go down as a tragedy and what-if in sports. Enjoy retirement Andrew. You will be missed.
Photo via Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports