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Notable Quotes from Andrew Luck's Presser After Announcing NFL Retirement

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IAugust 25, 2019

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck speaks during a news conference following the team's NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Indianapolis. The oft-injured star is retiring at age 29. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Andrew Luck held a press conference Saturday night following the Indianapolis Colts' 27-17 loss to the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium to confirm his decision to retire from the NFL at 29 years old.

"I've been stuck in this process," he told reporters. "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."

Luck called his retirement "the hardest decision of my life."

The 2012 top overall pick has been trying to recover from a strained calf that developed into a high-ankle sprain since suffering the original injury in April. It's the latest in a long line of injuries that have ravaged him since entering the NFL out of Stanford as a generational talent:

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

Physical toll on Andrew Luck through 6 NFL seasons: » 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

Luck noted that he first seriously began considering retirement in recent weeks.

Retirement emerged as a viable option because of his ankle, which has kept him out of action since May OTAs:

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

"A week and a half, two weeks...The lack of progress on my ankle. I'm in pain, I'm still in pain." -Andrew Luck on his decision to retire from the NFL. https://t.co/xuN7FGE7Jv

Luck missed all of 2017 while recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder. He returned last season and didn't miss a game—earning the league's Comeback Player of the Year Award by leading the 10-6 Colts to the postseason with 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

The three-year process to get his shoulder back to top playing form might have, in hindsight, been a foreshadowing of Saturday night's events:

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

Remember, Andrew Luck was in a really dark place coming back from the shoulder last August. He admitted he was "a miserable SOB." But last season restored him. Apparently, in recent weeks, he hit a breaking point. https://t.co/heYNv5mnuU

Zak Keefer @zkeefer

One scene that sticks in my mind: Andrew Luck, exiting the locker room after the playoff loss in KC, with a huge smile on his face as he caught up with his fiancee. Asked him about it this spring, and his response is very telling tonight: https://t.co/Wecqqa11LH

On top of all the physical pain he has endured, Luck admitted that hearing Colts fans boo him as he exited the field Saturday night hurt:

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

"It hurt. I'll be honest. It hurt" -Andrew Luck regarding the booing he heard at Lucas Oil Stadium tonight from Colts fans. https://t.co/mR0V7vH6fZ

The reaction to Luck's shocking announcement was widespread, including former teammate and retired six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne:

FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOX

"He came in and gave me new hope. He really did." Former Colts teammate @ReggieWayne_17 reacts to Andrew Luck's retirement. https://t.co/l07RYAbBf7

Moving forward, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted prior to the presser the recently married Luck wants to travel the world, and his wife Nicole was among those he emotionally thanked:

Sports Illustrated @SInow

Andrew Luck gets emotional when thanking his family and friends 🙏 (via @CBSSportsHQ) https://t.co/iGupAwNEIk

Luck ends his NFL career having thrown for 23,671 yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions. His all-time record is 53-33.