Quarterback Andrew Luck, the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft and a four-time Pro Bowl selection, announced on Saturday night that he’s retiring.
“This is not an easy decision,” the Indianapolis Colts player told reporters. “For the last four years or so I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab. And it’s been unceasing and unrelenting … and the only way I see out is to no longer play football.”
Injuries had kept Luck, 29, from playing in the preseason. He was on the Colts’ sideline Saturday during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears in street clothes. As news of his retirement spread, Luck was booed as he left the field, a number of videos shared online show.
Luck said the pain has taken away his joy for the game and he hasn’t been able to live the life he wants to live. He played the 2016 season in pain, he said, and made a vow he wouldn’t go down that road again.
He missed the entire 2017 season because he was recovering from shoulder surgery, according to the Colts website. When he returned for the 2018 season, he had a 98.7% passer rating, 39 touchdowns and was selected for the 2018 Pro Bowl. As a result of his return to the gridiron, Luck was awarded the AP Comeback Player of the Year that season.
But he said Saturday that because he couldn’t put his heart into the game; he would have been selling himself and his teammates short.
He said he told his teammates earlier that he was retiring.
Luck signed a five-year, $122 million contract in 2016, according to spotrac.com. He would have earned a base salary of $9.125 million in 2019 and a roster bonus.
The Colts open the season September 8 at Los Angeles against the Chargers.