Andrew Luck said injuries took his enjoyment of the NFL away after the Colts quarterback announced his shocking retirement.
Colts star Luck confirmed his decision to quit the sport Saturday following reports of the 29-year-old’s imminent announcement emerged on social media.
Luck — a four-time Pro Bowl player — was set to make his retirement official Sunday, however the 2012 No. 1 pick spoke to the media after the Colts’ 27-17 preseason loss to the Bears.
Following a career ravaged by injuries, Luck — who was dealing with a lower leg/ankle/bone problem throughout the offseason that limited him to just three practice sessions heading into the campaign — told reporters: “I’m going to retire, this is not an easy decision. This is the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.”
Luck — who never won a Super Bowl — was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of Stanford.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 25, 2019
He was named the Pro Football Writers Association’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2018 after throwing for 4,593 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. That came one year after he missed the season with a shoulder injury.
The Colts were hoping he would be back for the third preseason game so they could name him the starter, but they were ready to go with backup Jacoby Brissett, who the team acquired from the New England Patriots in 2017 to play in Luck’s absence.
“(The injuries have) taken my joy of this game away. I’ve been stuck in this process. I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. After 2016, I played in pain and was unable to practice, I said I wouldn’t go through that again.
“It’s sad but I also have a lot of clarity in this. Difficult process. My wife, family, friends, Chris Ballard, Mr. (Jim) Irsay, Frank Reich have been incredibly supportive. Thankful for them.”
Luck threw for 23,671 yards with 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions in his career. He made the playoffs four times with his longest run going to the 2014 AFC Championship game.
He added: “It was an honor to represent the city of Indianapolis on and off the field. So grateful to have been drafted here. Can’t fathom another owner who loves his team as much as Irsay does… This has been an incredible place to make a home and grow. This city will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Luck was booed by Colts fans as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium before speaking to reporters.
On the booing, Luck said: “It hurt… it hurt.”