Andrew Luck, a Pro Bowl quarterback and the face of the Indianapolis Colts, has determined to retire at 29 after a profession outlined by wins and accidents.
Luck sustained extreme accidents all through his profession. He missed 9 video games in 2015 and the complete 2017 season. He was working his means again from a persistent ankle damage and had not appeared in any of the workforce’s preseason video games, together with one in progress on Saturday night time when the information of his retirement first broke with experiences by ESPN and the NFL Network.
Luck confirmed the experiences at a postgame information convention. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live,” Luck stated as he fought off tears. “It’s taken the joy out of this game. The only way forward for me is to remove myself from football and this cycle I’ve been in.”
Luck, the No. 1 general decide in the 2012 draft, was an prompt star for the Colts, serving to offset the loss of Peyton Manning, one other franchise icon, who was reduce by the workforce after he had handled severe accidents of his personal.
In simply 86 profession regular-season video games, Luck produced a 53-33 document, and his 171 landing passes trailed solely Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre for the most in the first 100 begins of a quarterback’s profession.
Luck led the Colts in his third season to the A.F.C. championship recreation, the place they misplaced, 13-6, to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. At the time it appeared like a matchup destined to be repeated for years, however Luck, thanks largely to accidents, by no means obtained his workforce that far once more.
Luck, who was chosen to play in the Pro Bowl 4 occasions, listed a number of accidents that he has battled, together with a calf pressure, a excessive ankle sprain and a shoulder damage that compelled him to overlook 26 video games.
“I’m in pain, I’m still in pain, I’ve been in this cycle for four years,” Luck stated. “Shoulder, ankle, and this and this and this. I don’t feel like I can live the life I want moving forward” by enjoying soccer.
Luck, who has three years remaining on his contract worth more than $64 million, said he decided to retire about a week and a half ago. He said there was no single moment, but rather a dawning reality that his injured ankle was not improving, and that he wanted to break the cycle of injuries and rehabilitation.
“The lack of progress just builds up and you turn the corner and run into another stumbling block,” he said.
Luck said he understood that people may be shocked by his decision to suddenly leave the game. But he said he felt relief.
“It felt like a weight has lifted,” he said. “Part of my journey going forward is to figure out how to get out of pain.”
Luck thanked Colts owner Jim Irsay, several front office executives, the training staff and his former and current teammates, including quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Luck said he has not contemplated what he intends to do in the future, besides recuperate.
“Physically, it has taken its toll over the last four years, and that’s why I’m here,” Luck said. He added that he vowed to himself a few years ago to “choose me” if he continued to be in pain because of injuries.
Luck’s decision to step away from the game before reaching the age of 30 is unusual for such a high-profile player. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was chosen second in the 2007 draft, was 30 when he retired in 2016 after nine seasons, citing persistent injuries.
Terrell Davis, a running back with the Denver Broncos who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played 78 games and retired because of injury problems.
Few quarterbacks have achieved so much in so short a time, only to walk away in what might otherwise be the prime of their career.
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.
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