Will’s Whiteboard: Andrew Luck’s retirement is no reason to boo

Published August 28, 2019

By William Whisler

Undoubtably Andrew Luck’s retirement sent shockwaves through the NFL when he suddenly decided that playing quarterback another season was not worth his physical and mental health in the future.

Colts fans were extremely upset with their season expectations changing drastically without their star quarterback. The fans made a poor decision and decided to boo their franchise quarterback as he walked off the field for the last time.

In reality, the Colts fans were voicing frustrations with an organization that doesn’t seem to value transparency. Indianapolis’ organization left a sour taste in fans’ mouths when they decided to paint the picture of a healthy Andrew Luck in 2017. When the season began, Luck was unable to play, missing the entire season and the Colts were horrible.

Now, Colts fans feel like after hyping up the injury to Luck as nothing particularly serious, his retirement shows how hurt he may have been. His retirement leaves more questions than answers.

The retirement does send ripples through a league that has lost two superstar players at 29, as Rob Gronkowski retired last season following the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory last season. Gronkowski could barely walk after the championship win and appears to have made the right decision.

Luck said that his decision fell in the cycle of consistent rehab after an injury. The vicious cycle continued to crush the star quarterback and made him eventually realize that the process wasn’t worth the result. It’s not as if Luck wasn’t at the peak of his career, after throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 TDs a season ago — the most all-time for a player in their final season before retirement.

The Colts gunslinger was the league’s Comeback Player of the Year and had led the Colts to yet another playoff berth. Luck helped keep together a terrible team at the beginning of his career, including a legendary come from behind win over the Chiefs and the Colts found themselves playing in an AFC Championship when the Indy squad had no strengths except the man under center.

If Luck’s decision is final — and I believe it will be — he joins the likes of Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson and others in retiring in the prime of their careers in shocking fashion. Luck’s retirement may be the most surprising since Michael Jordan decided to retire and pursue a career in baseball. His story ends a little bit different than Luck’s may, however.

Luck was the man who was supposed to deliver multiple Lombardi Trophies to the Colts after Peyton Manning’s departure. Luck gave a glimmer of hope to a franchise that didn’t have many pieces around the man under center.

Now, the Colts have a complete team that clearly misses the one guy who could take them to the next level, and that is a starting quarterback of Luck’s caliber. Indianapolis will now be led by Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was serviceable in his first season and seems to have won over the locker room in the past seasons.

Brissett has his opportunity to do something special and go down in Colts history as a backup that delivered a team through a period of turmoil, something that Colts’ coach Frank Reich knows a lot about.

Reich was a great backup and also helped push Nick Foles to stardom in Philadelphia. Does Reich have more magic in him? Only time will tell.