Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement on Saturday caught a lot of people off guard, and Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III was no exception.
Griffin was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, just one spot behind Luck. He spoke with ESPN Sunday and gave his reaction to the end of Luck’s NFL career.
“It was very shocking moment but it’s his decision to make,” Griffin said.
Luck cited the endless cycle of getting hurt and rehabbing to get better as one of the main reasons he decided to hang it up during his official announcement on Saturday.
Injuries are certainly something Griffin can relate to, as the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year tore his ACL at the end of his first NFL season. Griffin continued to struggle with his health after that and even stepped away from football for all of 2017. Luck did the same that year to recover from a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
“When I was out of football in 2017, I can’t say I was making the decision to retire,” Griffin said. “But I was at that point where you’re tired of being injured, tired of being hurt and tired of having to go through that process that (Andrew Luck) called ‘pain-injury-rehab.’”
Some fans booed Luck after his decision was brought to light, but Griffin believes NFL players need to be viewed as regular people when they aren’t in the spotlight.
“We’re looked at as superheroes and not human beings,” Griffin said. “For him to have that human element, to express it in the press conference after the game, go and talk to the media and answer questions, I thought that was really big.
“I think all the fans that booed would probably say that wasn’t their proudest moment.”
Both Griffin and Luck are extremely talented players, but it appears they’ll likely go down in history together as some of the league’s biggest what-ifs.
Griffin is still trying to keep his NFL dreams alive, though, as a backup in Baltimore to second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.
“As players, we get signed to teams and we give our all for those teams,” Griffin said. “I’ve personally never been booed in Washington, but if I had been after what I gave that team, a lot of people would say I gave it my career. I don’t think I did, because I’m still fighting.”