Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has mostly maintained a private lifestyle since his sudden retirement from professional football.
The former No. 1 pick shared details about his decision to walk away from the NFL when he was just 29 and on a path that would likely lead him to the Hall of Fame.
Luck spoke with ESPN and finally explained why he left the game in the middle of his prime.
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In a rare media encounter, Luck spoke to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and said he didn’t just retire because of the well-documented injuries he suffered during his days as a Game.
While the physical issues Luck endured certainly played a part, Luck revealed the emotional toll affected him as well.
“To play quarterback, you’re not allowed to worry about anything other than the task at hand,” Luck explained. “And it seeps into other areas of life. It’s not the healthiest way to live.”
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Luck hinted that his obsession with being an elite quarterback has hurt some of the relationships in his personal life.
Wickersham also noted that Luck struggled to figure out how to be the team’s best leader. Luck seemed to feel the pressure to change his whole personality in order to meet the expectations of being the leader in the locker room.
The four-time Pro Bowler began to suffer from something of an identity crisis.
“A lot. A lot. A LOT,” Luck said when asked how much he identifies as a quarterback. “And I only realized that after the fact.”
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The high standards that Luck held himself to translate well on the field as he quickly became one of the best young signallers in the league. However, the 2018 NFL Player of the Year failed to handle the pressure he was feeling personally as he suffered more and more injuries during his football career.
Wickersham went on to explain that Luck even felt guilty when he was sidelined with an injury because he felt like he was letting everyone down.
Luck eventually learned to express his concerns to his loved ones, including his wife Nicole. Luck suffered another injury before the start of the 2019 season and announced his retirement.
Outside of the injury, things had started to change in Luck’s personal life. “He wasn’t just a quarterback. In the offseason, he and Nicole got married, and she was pregnant with Lucy,” Wickersham explained. “He had responsibilities and promises beyond himself and the Colts. He was about to say out loud what he had only revealed to Nicole and a few others: that he didn’t “It was safer to want to do that. He couldn’t anymore. I wanted to. He had proven that he could play at a high level. He had received a lot of praise and criticism, enough to know that none of those things didn’t matter.”
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So, to preserve not only his physical health but also his mental health, Luck decided to retire.
Luck’s decision to step away seemed sudden to fans and possibly even the Colts organization, but the quarterback certainly seemed to have thought about it for a while.
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