In a move reminiscent of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson in years past, Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, has decided to hang up the cleats just weeks shy of his 30th birthday. All in all, the former first overall selection played 86 games in the NFL over six seasons. He threw 171 touchdowns in that time.
It comes as no surprise that injuries were a motivating factor in Luck’s decision. Luck returned in 2018 after missing all of 2017. After a slow start, Luck led the Colts to the playoffs after a 1-5 start and his 39 touchdowns were one shy of his career-best. However, this offseason, Luck has been sidelined with a foot injury and his week one status in doubt.
Luck’s retirement adds yet another chapter to the odd career arcs of himself and 2012 second overall pick, Robert Griffin III. Both quarterbacks came in with an immense amount of hype with Luck being touted as the better of the two. However, it was RGIII who had a hot start to his career before injuries derailed it. He now resides in Baltimore as a backup and never regained his rookie form. Luck eventually led the Colts to an AFC Championship Game in 2014 but he will now be a regular in the “what if?” discussion for years to come.
Of course, Luck’s arrival in Indiana was a direct result of a season lost to injury for superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning was eventually traded to Denver and the keys were handed over to Luck. Luck led the Colts to three straight 11-5 records culminating in an AFC Championship Game appearance in 2014. However, he missed 10 games over the next two seasons before sitting out the entire 2017 season.
What’s Next for the Colts?
Unlike in 2011, the Colts are far better off absent their franchise quarterback. In 2011, they stumbled to a 2-14 record with the likes of guys like Curtis Painter under center. This time around, former third-round Jacoby Brissett will take the reigns for the Colts. Brissett was acquired from the New England Patriots in exchange for wide receiver Philip Dorsett in 2017. Brissett ended up starting 15 games for the Colts in 2017 in replace of Luck and compiled a 4-11 record.
This time around, Brissett will have a better team around him so it is unlikely they fall to the bottom as they did in 2011. However, no matter how you shake it, losing Andrew Luck is a major blow to a team with Super Bowl aspirations.