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:
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:
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:
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:
The reaction to Luck's shocking announcement was widespread, including former teammate and retired six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Reggie Wayne:
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:
Luck ends his NFL career having thrown for 23,671 yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions. His all-time record is 53-33.