‘I didn’t imagine retiring until two weeks ago’: Andrew Luck steps away from football

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Andrew Luck’s promising NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts has come to an end. The franchise quarterback will retire from football, saying the injuries have mounted throughout his career and taken the joy out of the game he loves. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report Luck’s retirement. Schefter said Luck met with Colts owner Jim Irsay to deliver the news. A source told Schefter Luck is mentally exhausted and wearing down. Luck was expected to make it official during a news conference Sunday, according to Schefter, but Luck spoke to the media after Saturday’s preseason game. Luck gushed about his time in Indianapolis and his teammates, mentioning several of them by name as well as members of the staff. “Indianapolis is our home. So many fulfilling moments. I’m conflicted because of my teammates, but this is the right decision,” Luck said.
At times, he struggled not to let emotions overwhelm him. “I want to thank football for so many wonderful moments in my life,” Luck said. “It’s the greatest team sport in the world. “I love my teammates. The fans.” Luck said he’d mulled the decision over the last week and a half to two weeks. He said the calf/ankle injury has not gotten better and implied he was frustrated with the “pain/rehab cycle” that’s typified his NFL career. “I can’t live the life I want to live moving forward [with these injuries],” Luck said. “Physically, it has taken its toll over the last four years,” Luck said, adding that the mental and emotional toll was high. “I didn’t imagine retiring until two weeks ago,” he said. “I have so much clarity about my next steps moving forward. I’m so excited for this team. It’s a great team.” Luck will turn 30 next month. He dealt with a serious shoulder injury that forced him to miss a whole season in 2017. He came back in 2018 and had one of the strongest seasons of his career. This offseason has been marred by calf and “high-ankle” injuries that kept him out of the majority of training camp and organized team activities.
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Throughout his career with the Colts, Luck has dealt with numerous injuries, including torn cartilage in his ribs, a lacerated kidney and concussions. He attempted to rehab a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder before finally electing for surgery. Saturday night's report stunned Colts fans and the NFL world. GM Chris Ballard had built the team around the franchise quarterback, and while Luck's lack of participation in practice was alarming, he was expected to play this season. With Luck no longer in the mix, the Colts will rely on Jacoby Brissett to start in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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