t has now been two days since Andrew Luck shocked the world and decided to walk away from the NFL. Luck informed the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night that he is retiring from the game of football.
“I felt stuck and the only way out of it is to no longer play football,” Luck said in a press conference. “It’s taken my joy away from the game.”
Luck was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2018. He finished with 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns. Most importantly, Luck played all 16 games for the first time since 2014 and he seemed to be back. He was dealing with an ankle/calf issue through training camp that ultimately proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
During his seven year career, Luck suffered torn cartilage in his ribs, a partially torn abdomen, a lacerated kidney, a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and what has to be multiple concussions. At 29 years old, Luck climbed to the top of the league as one of the best quarterbacks in the game but he also went through an obscene amount of pain and rehab.
Luck was drafted by the Colts with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was selected to be the next coming of Peyton Manning and he seemed to be just that over his first few seasons. This decision came as a shock to the NFL, but players from all teams and positions have come out and supported Luck, including the Kansas City Chiefs.
Watkins, Mahomes Support Luck
If there is one player on the Chiefs that understands injuries, it is Sammy Watkins. He has played all 16 games just once in his career. With the Chiefs in 2018, Watkins played 10 games and finished with 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns. At age 26, Watkins has suffered many injuries and knows what it is like to come back.
“When you have several injuries, I kind of went through that whole process, of like, ‘Man, I’m getting tired of injuries. I’m about to retire,’” Watkins said Saturday night. “But those are the hard times you’ve got to fight through and know that guys are playing and everything, and everything is in that plan. Hopefully (Luck) will mentally get cleared of whatever doubts or fears, and he’ll return back.”
Luck signed a massive contract with the Colts in 2016. He has earned $97 million over his seven-year career. Despite his retirement decision, the Colts have decided to let Luck keep his contractual earnings. But for the quarterback, it was about more than money.
“You get all this money and you think, ‘Oh, this is the best thing ever.’ But once you get it, you’ve got realize, you’ve got to go through phases in your life to grow you as a person, spiritually and you’ve got to be prepared. Injuries are a part of this game to help us. Not to take us away from it. I kind of took that aspect from it.”