Connor Watson, Staff Writer
On Sunday, Aug. 25, Adam Schefter broke the story of Andrew Luck’s retirement from the NFL. This news came as a complete shock to fans across the country, particularly to Indianapolis Colts fans who later during the Colts preseason game began to boo Luck as he was exiting the field. Unfortunately for Luck, the news of his retirement was not supposed to be announced until the following day, during which he was to hold a press conference explaining his decision to step away from the sport.
During the press conference, Luck cited his ongoing cycle of injuries as an explanation for the early retirement, stating, “I’ve been stuck in this process. I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game. The only way forward for me is to remove myself from football. This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.” Over his career Luck has sustained numerous injuries, including a lacerated kidney and abdominal tear he suffered in the fourth quarter of a divisional game against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 8, 2015, and a shoulder surgery on his right (throwing) arm during the 2016-2017 offseason. His shoulder surgery and ongoing rehabilitation forced him to miss the entire 2017 NFL season, only his sixth year in the league.
Andrew Luck was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The year before he was also predicted to go number one. While at Stanford University, Luck broke numerous Pac-12 records. He had the highest career passing efficiency rating (162.8) and career completion percentage (67.0 percent). He broke his own record of 32 touchdown passes by throwing 37. He ended his college career with 10,387 yards of total offense setting the record.
Given his selection No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts, much was expected out of him. Luck did not disappoint, because his rookie campaign was phenomenal. He started every game and ended the season with 11 wins—the most for rookie quarterbacks taken number one overall. He also set the record for most passing yards in a single season with 4,183 yards.
His career did not just stop after his rookie season, though. In his entire NFL career, in seasons he started 15+ games, he averaged 4,358 passing yards. This is the second most passing yards behind Drew Brees, and ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger. Along with that, he is tied with Drew Brees for most game-winning drives in a single season (7), which he accomplished in his rookie season.
After missing all of 2017, he came back in 2018 and had arguably the best season of his career. He completed 430 passes out of 639 attempts giving him a 67.3 completion percent—all career highs. He fell short of his passing yards personal record by a mere 168 yards.He threw for 4,761 yards in 2014 and ending 2018 with 4,593 passing yards. If he threw only 10.5 more yards per game, then he would have had his own record beat. He also missed his personal record of touchdowns in a single season (40) by one touchdown.
Andrew Luck’s career will be remembered as one of the most dominant for a quarterback. They made the playoffs 4 out of his 6 seasons . Given he missed the entire 2017 season. He set records for rookie quarterbacks, and he remained an elite-level quarterback throughout his career. It seemed as if he was only getting better, too, ending his 2018 campaign with is highest quarterback rate of his career at 98.7. Now, with Andrew Luck, we are only left with What if…? It is unfortunate that the latter portion of his career was marred by injury, because a healthy Andrew Luck was a force on the football field. He will be remembered, that is certain, but was it too soon?