Andrew Luck will retire from the NFL on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “There will be a press conference Sunday to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out,” Schefter tweeted.
Luck entered the league in 2012 as the Colts’ No. 1 pick and heir apparent to Peyton Manning. He had yet to take any snaps in the preseason. He threw for over 4,500 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2018 in leading Indianapolis to the AFC Division Round against the Chiefs.
He missed the 2017 season after shoulder surgery. He told ESPN in an Aug. 2018 interview that considered retirement afterward, but opted out of it since he was “having more fun playing football now than he did before.”
“There was a time or two when I thought I would play football again, and I didn’t think it was worth playing again,” he said during the 2018 training camp. “I’m so glad to have worked through that.”
This has obviously changed, as Luck emotionally talked about his mental recovery to ESPN’s Field Yates.
He joked in 2018 that he would retire, but only from the receiver position after dropping a pass on a “Philly Special.” That refers to a reverse to a receiver who then throws back to the quarterback.
“I gave it my best effort,” Luck said at the time. “I’ll retire as a wide receiver from here on out.”
He will finish his career with 23,671 passing yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions.
Reactions are coming in from across social media, and it’s mostly shock. Luck is just 29. Celebrities such as O.J. Simpson have already decried the news, as he tweeted that he drafted Luck in fantasy.
Colts Outlook at Quarterback for 2019
QB1: Jacoby Brissett
QB2: Phillip Walker
QB3: Chad Kelly
Jacoby Brissett is the immediate backup to Luck. He’s been mostly ineffective in the preseason through three games. In the opener against the Bills, he completed just 2-of-5 passes for 21 yards.
He was crisper against the Browns in the second game, going 8-of-10 for 100 yards and a touchdown. He has not taken snaps in the third game tonight against the Bears.
When Luck went down for the 2017 season, Brissett filled in admirably for a 4-12 team. He passed for 3,098 yards (completing just 58 percent of his passes), 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His first regular-season action came with the Patriots during Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension. He turned in a 3-1 record, passing for 400 yards and no touchdowns (but no turnovers).
The other backups are Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly. Walker is a 5-foot-11 undrafted player out of Temple. He completed more than 60 percent of his throws just once in college, meaning he’s more of a project at this point. He does possess some speed after recording a 4.74-second 40 at the 2017 NFL Combine.
Kelly was a seventh-round draft choice in 2017 out of Ole Miss. He will not be allowed to play for the first two weeks of the season, as he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
The interesting question now is whether or not Indianapolis will bring in Colin Kaepernick as an emergency option. Brissett appears capable of starting on a short-term basis as he did in 2017, but Kaepernick would be a good bit on insurance as an athletic quarterback.
In addition, the rest of the quarterback room is full of dual-threat options. The fit would be smoother than most teams. Time will tell how the Colts address this shocking bit of news about Luck.