Ex-Colts OC Bruce Arians on Andrew Luck Retiring: 'Something Has Got to Be Wrong'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck talks to interim head coach Bruce Arians before the start of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Andrew Luck shocked nearly everyone in the NFL with his decision to retire Saturday, including his former coach Bruce Arians.

Arians—who was the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator and interim coach during Luck's first season in 2012—discussed the surprising news Sunday, via Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today:

"Knowing his toughness and his mental toughness, this does surprise me. Something has got to be wrong somewhere, because I know he loves the game so much. I did two of their games (as a TV analyst) last year and he was running off the bus to come say 'Hi' and tell me how the team was doing, the young receivers and how excited he was, so to see it was very disheartening."

Luck had been dealing with an ankle issue that began as a calf problem in the offseason and put the start of the season in jeopardy. This came after missing all of 2017 because of a shoulder injury as well as numerous other ailments that slowed him down during his seven-year career.

"I haven't been able to live the life I want to live. It's taken the joy out of this game," the quarterback told reporters Saturday. "... The only way forward for me is to remove myself from football."

This was apparently a significant change of pace from his attitude coming into the year.

"It was really a shock," Arians said. "I know he's been struggling with this latest injury, but the last time I talked to him, he was still fired up about the year."

Though Luck acknowledged the difficulty of making his decision during Saturday's press conference, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach provided another perspective to show how hard it must have been to hang it up while still in his prime.

Indianapolis entered this year with high expectations after going 10-6 last season, and it seemed Luck was ready to compete with the team until being slowed down by the latest injury.