No Luck in Indy

Posted 8/27/19

The football world welcomed back the college season on Saturday by watching a 24-20 Florida Gators victory over the Miami Hurricanes in Orlando. But during the third quarter, shocking news broke at the professional level that could significantly alter the 2019 season and more.

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No Luck in Indy

Posted

The football world welcomed back the college season on Saturday by watching a 24-20 Florida Gators victory over the Miami Hurricanes in Orlando. But during the third quarter, shocking news broke at the professional level that could significantly alter the 2019 season and more.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to walk away from football after six active seasons due to a constant string of injuries, resulting in a barrage of either support or criticism from fans and media alike.

Luck, 29, was drafted with the first overall pick out of Stanford in the 2012 NFL Draft. It was his job to step in and fill the sizable shoes of Peyton Manning, who was playing for the Denver Broncos at the time. Luck led the Colts to 11 wins in each of his first three seasons and played in the AFC Championship in 2014.

But the wins were soon replaced with a seemingly never-ending cycle of injuries, causing Luck’s love for football to falter. He missed over half of the season in 2015 as well as the entire 2017 season. He was also battling immense pain when he actually was on the field.

All told, Luck’s laundry list of injuries include torn cartilage in two ribs, a lacerated kidney that forced him to urinate blood, at least one concussion and a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. He has also reportedly been battling an ankle issue, which appears to be the final straw.

“For the last four years or so, I have been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury pain rehab, and it has been unceasing and unrelenting both in season and offseason,” said Luck in a press conference on Saturday. “I felt stuck in it and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It has taken my joy of this game away.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news during the team’s third preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Fans in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis found out about the news during the game while Luck was in street clothes on the sideline.

After the game, a number of fans that remained sent boos and jeers toward Luck while he walked off of a football field for the final time. He would later admit during the press conference that he was hurt by this.

On the surface, it is a classless move by the fans in Indianapolis. But many will likely regret it as the years go by. Still, I can empathize with the fact that they were blindsided by the news out of nowhere and experienced sudden and irrational feelings of betrayal from Luck.

Luck had every right to remove himself from the game if he felt like it was the best move for him and his wife and their future. The fans, in turn, have every right to be irrational about it for the time being. It is going to take some time to absorb that hurt.

As for the 2019 season, the AFC South picture looks a whole lot different than it did just a week ago. The Colts were considered Super Bowl contenders in certain circles and the clearcut favorite to win the division with a healthy Luck.

Saturday night was also a rollercoaster for the Houston Texans, who lost their third preseason game to the Cowboys in Dallas. Their chances to win the South may have significantly improved with Luck’s announcement, but they also lost starting running back Lamar Miller for the year with a torn ACL.

Houston is fortunate enough to have Duke Johnson on their roster, but they will still likely need more production out of the running back position if they hope to be successful in 2019.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans are also in the mix for the AFC South crown in what should be one of the more competitive divisions. Despite last year’s disastrous letdown for the Jaguars, the talent on defense is still there and they now have former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles under center. The Titans have been stuck in a 9-7 rut over the last three years and will need to see vast improvements from Marcus Mariota if they hope to stand out.

The Colts, meanwhile, will now rally around 26-year-old Jacoby Brissett, who filled in for Luck during the 2017 season. Brissett was one of Tom Brady’s backups in New England before he was traded to Indianapolis for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

Despite a 4-12 record for the Colts in 2017, Brissett outplayed expectations and showed promise for his future moving forward. He will now have a chance to lead the Colts again under entirely different circumstances two years later.

The Colts were due to recoup $24.8 million from Luck after his surprise retirement, but announced on Sunday that they will not seek repayment.

The 2019 NFL season officially kicks off on Sept. 5 when the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. The Cowboys will open their season at home against the New York Giants on Sept. 8. The Texans will travel to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday Night Football, Sept. 9.

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