One of the most stunning athlete retirements in history was that of Andrew Luck’s decision to call it a career in 2019.
The Stanford product was viewed as a generational product in the 2012 NFL Draft when the Indianapolis Colts drafted him first overall that year. Luck went on to take the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, going as far as the AFC Championship Game in 2014.
After missing the entire 2017 season recovering from shoulder surgery, Luck returned to his stardom in 2018, tossing for over 4,500 yards and 39 touchdowns while helping the Colts reach the playoffs. He was also named Comeback Player of the Year. The Colts had a new general manager and head coach and seemed destined to enter championship contention.
But then Luck shocking announced his retirement just before the start of the 2019 season.
Since then, Luck has stayed out of the spotlight but he recently did an interview with ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and revealed details on why he decide to walk away from the game while in the prime of his career.
“To play quarterback, you’re not allowed to worry about anything except the task at hand,” Luck told Wickersham. “And that seeps into other areas of life. It’s not the healthiest way to live.”
Wickersham added that “all of the attention made” Luck squirm.
Wickersham then asked him, “How much of your self-identity was tied to being a quarterback?”. How did Luck respond?
“A lot. A lot. A LOT. And I didn’t realize that until after the fact.”
For the Indianapolis Colts, Luck’s retirement has steered them into a quarterback purgatory. They’ve had four different starting quarterbacks since Luck’s retirement in 2019 and the organization hasn’t won a playoff game since Luck walked away.