Andrew Luck Retiring from NFL
INDIANAPOLIS - Reaction continues to pour in around Indiana and the nation to the stunning retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck, who did not play in Saturday's game, said the number of injuries he has suffered throughout his professional career "has taken my joy of this game away."
Luck teared up during a news conference in which he made his announcement.
"After 2016 where I played in pain and was unable to regularly practice, I made a vow to myself that I would not go down that path again," said Luck. "I find myself in a similar situation and the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football and this cycle that I've been in. I've come to the proverbial fork in the road and I made a vow to myself that if I ever did again, I would choose me, in a sense."
Luck thanked the Colts organization, his teammates and Colts fans after what he called the most difficult decision in his life. "As part of this team, as a member of this team and because of how I feel, I know that I am unable to pour my heart and soul into this position, which would not only sell myself short, but the team in the end as well. It's sad, but I also have a lot of clarity in this."
News of Luck's retirement was first reported by ESPN during the Colts/Bears game. Luck had been on the sidelines during the game and walked off the field to a chorus of boos from the crowd as the news was spreading.
Colts owner Jim Irsay, General Manager Chris Ballard and Head Coach Frank Reich thanked Luck for his dedication to the team. Speaking to reporters, Ballard said it has been an emotional week. Reich added the emotion of the announcement was hard to put into words.
"Being in that room with him for the last 18 months was just the experience of a lifetime," said Reich. "You know, a true competitor in every sense of the word, a great teammate and just one of the truly unique players to ever put on an NFL uniform and certainly, to wear that horseshoe proud. So for the coaching staff in that locker room, just getting a chance to work with this guy every day was incredible."
Reaction has flooded local sports talk shows. Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy spoke with our partners at WISH-TV, saying, "Listening to him, you can really see it and sense it. He talked about the joy of football and being out there with his teammates and going after an ultimate goal and doing it together, and obviously he loves that part of it."
Luck was selected by the Colts as the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He would have entered his eighth season with the team this year.