Saturday evening the Seattle Seahawks traveled to Southern California to take on the one time AFC West division rival Los Angeles Chargers in one of a half dozen NFL preseason games. However, for many fans across the NFL, the slate of games almost resembling professional football took a back seat once they learned that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was retiring from football.
Fans and observers were shaken by Luck walking away from the game just weeks short of his 30th birthday, but having battle a myriad of serious injuries and health concerns in recent seasons, Luck was worn down by the grind of rehab. Thus, when word leaked to Adam Schefter of ESPN, he broke the news.
Filed to ESPN: Andrew Luck has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL, per source. There will be a press conference Sunday to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 25, 2019
The physical beating Luck took during his time in the league was great, as Zak Keefer of The Athletic detailed in a tweet that listed many of the myriad injuries Luck battled during his brief career.
Physical toll on Andrew Luck through 6 NFL seasons:— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 25, 2019
» Torn cartilage in 2 ribs
» partially torn abdomen
» a lacerated kidney that left him peeing blood
» at least 1 concussion
» a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder
» and this mysterious calf/ankle issue that led to this
Fans weren’t the only ones to be caught off guard, as other NFL players and front office personnel seemed surprised as well. However, many current and former Seahawks took the time to wish Luck well going forward or to weigh in on how fans reacted to the news.
How dare Luck not sacrifice his body for MY entertainment. Who cares if your shoulder is too messed up to pick up your child. Who cares if your knees are too messed up to play with your kids. Who cares about the quality of YOUR life, what about the quality of MY Sunday’s?— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) August 25, 2019
Not many will understand your decision. Though most haven’t been through what you’ve been through. In the end, your health, happiness and life is what matters most.— WALTER JONES (@BigWalt71) August 25, 2019
Football is a business & one that throws you away at will. Andrew Luck, walk away proud, young man. You earned it.
This is a very rough game. Most people who have not played at this level will never understand what we put our bodies through season after season. We don’t need the sympathy because this is what we signed up for but to “boo” a man that battled for that city is disgraceful.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 25, 2019
Russell Wilson hasn’t tweeted about Luck’s retirement, but he did speak about it while meeting with the media after the game on Saturday evening.
Russell Wilson's reaction to the retirement of Andrew Luck pic.twitter.com/7OYQ9DAJlY— Sam HawkBadger (@hwkbgr) August 25, 2019
Andrew Luck, like many players, sacrificed his health in order to make money. Then he sacrificed money to recuperate his health. Congratulations to him!— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) August 25, 2019
Other teammates and former teammates of Luck weighed in as well, including Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.
Good Andrew Luck anecdote from Zach Ertz on their time together at Stanford. pic.twitter.com/8x18YUgtlF— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) August 25, 2019
Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bruce Arians, who coached Luck as a rookie, gave his thoughts as well.
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians says he loves Andrew Luck like a son for everything they went through together. He hopes he finds what he’s looking for.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 25, 2019
Andrew Luck will be somebody I tell my kids about. The person & the player. Respect Andrew ✊ #LTE— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) August 25, 2019
Andrew Luck was the quintessential student athlete - he went to a magnificent university (this @cal girl is sincere), chose to finish his degree before entering the draft, is intelligent and intellectually curious - I wish him the best as he explores the world and life.— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) August 25, 2019
Wishing Andrew nothing but the best in this transition...whatever you decide to do, let your boy Fitz know, because I know it will be big.— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) August 25, 2019
If you’re looking to use architecture degree, let’s collaborate on something
Nothing but respect for Andrew Luck from division rival JJ Watt pic.twitter.com/qwMUaeQN2A— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 25, 2019
.... that’s not an easy decision to make and they are booing.. that’s some disrespectful sick sh*t... https://t.co/Uj9lT5Zy4i— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 25, 2019
Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha... take your time... I wish you the best— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) August 25, 2019
2 weeks ago, I happened to be walking off the field behind Andrew Luck. He hadn’t practiced but was out watching & supporting his teammates. He high-fived every kid he saw as he left (I only caught the final seconds). Through his personal pain, he thought to bring joy to others. pic.twitter.com/CJqFsG4Wm7— Larra Overton (@LarraOverton) August 25, 2019
Much love to my fellow Texas brother.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 25, 2019
Stiil remember our time together as Heisman finalists and how we laughed about almost being teammates at Stanford. The decision was only yours to make and I’m glad you have found peace in it. Respect https://t.co/4MQzsyZ9hz
#Texans DE J.J. Watt with nothing but respect for the decision by Andrew Luck to retire: "I think it takes an immense amount of courage and an immense amount of self reflection and a lot of guts to do what he's doing" pic.twitter.com/wVdyRwuJrW— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) August 25, 2019
"It's a bummer for the NFL."— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 25, 2019
Congrats on a fantastic career, Andrew Luck! pic.twitter.com/YDHx6y8pdp
Let’s show respect & take our hats off for Andrew Luck. We don’t know what he’s going through. He’s confident & at peace about his decision. Congratulations on a helluva career my guy. #FlipPhone Luv!— Jamal Adams (@TheAdamsEra) August 25, 2019
Fans... we are human. I know you love your teams, but try to understand someone’s story. I feel bad for Andrew Luck who’s done more than any of us can imagine to get healthy, getting booed at his home crowd— Chido (@ChidobeAwuzie) August 25, 2019
It is one of those surprises that catches fans off guard because of how young Luck is as he walks away. However, just as in the cases of Calvin Johnson, Barry Sanders and countless others who have walked away from the game early, the NFL will continue on in its grind. And as is seen in the reactions from teammates, friends and fellow competitors, the NFL will certainly miss Luck. But it seems as though the time has come when Luck may not miss the NFL.