What does Andrew Luck retiring from the NFL mean for the Colts?
Samuel P. Tucker
Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is retiring from the NFL according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. A shocking move for the 29-year-old, a seven-year vet out of Stanford University. Schefter said in a tweet on Aug. 24, “Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out.”
This surprise move comes with one week left in the NFL Preseason, and only three weeks left until the team from Indianapolis plays in their season opener at the Tennessee Titans – an AFC South division opponent – on Sept. 15th.
Luck was returning from a leg injury which turned into a calf injury which eventually became what Colts GM Chris Ballard, via Mike Wells of ESPN, referred to as “an ankle issue.” This is not the first time Luck has dealt with injury problems. In the first game of the 2017 season, Luck injured his shoulder, causing him to miss the rest of the 2017 campaign.
Where do the Colts go from here? This is the question that is on the minds of all NFL fans and sports writers. According to Schefter in another tweet from Aug. 24, Jacoby Brissett will step into the starting role and replace Andrew Luck. This is an expected move as Brissett started the entire 2017 season while Luck was out.
In 2017, the Colts finished 4-12, and third in the American Football Conference South. Brissett threw for 3,098 yards, recorded a 58.8 completion percentage, 13 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 3 lost fumbles, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Those statistics leave more than a little to be desired, 13 touchdowns meant he accounted for less than one touchdown per game. 10 turnovers meant he gave the opponent the ball nearly as many times as he put the ball in his own sides endzone. These are dismal statistics for the man set to fill the gigantic shoes of what was expected of Andrew Luck.
The Colts drafted Luck in 2012 with the first overall pick. Coming out of college Luck was set to be the next Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, but that never panned out due to his inability to remain injury free. In his first season, Luck turned the team around completely, taking them to an 11-5 regular season record which earned the Colts a wild card game. Luck took the Colts to 6 more playoff games, winning four of them. Without Luck it is unlikely the team will make the playoffs in 2019.
In the 2019 draft the Colts selected EJ Speed, former Tarleton State linebacker and Tarleton graduate. Lucks retirement is unlikely to effect Speed’s chances of making the team as the roster spot vacated by Lucks retirement will be filled by another quarterback.
The Colts will certainly be in the market for a new backup quarterback, and perhaps even a potential starter if Brissett has a poor showing in the first game of the season. They will also likely be looking to the 2020 draft for a new quarterback if they are unable to find their quarterback of the future before then. The best hope for the Colts 2019 season may be to give up all hope of winning and simply aim to have the worst record in the league so as to afford them the opportunity to draft their quarterback of the future in the 2020 draft.