By now you’ve heard. It would be impossible not to. On August 24th, Andrew Luck announced his retirement from the NFL.
Nobody saw this coming. Not Frank Reich, the esteemed head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Not Chris Ballard, their top-tier general manager. Not even Jim Irsay, their owner.
Looking back on Luck’s career, it’s hard to not hurt for him. For four years, he went through various injuries. It all started with his right throwing shoulder during a week three game against the Tennessee Titans in 2015. He sustained the injury on a sack, and tore his labrum.
Later in the season, during Week Nine, Luck gets smacked by Danny Travathan and Vance Walker. Because of this, he lacerated his kidney and partially tore his abdominal muscle.
In 2016, he was still trying to recover from his shoulder injury from the previous season. He powered through it and played in 15 games, missing only one due to a concussion.
Finally, he recovered from his lingering shoulder injury. Colts fans rejoiced. Last season, Luck won Comeback Player of the Year. He had an incredible year, throwing for 4593 yards and 39 touchdowns alongside only 15 interceptions.
The Colts had a great season, going 10-6. They won their wildcard game against the Houston Texans by a score of 21-10. Though they lost their next match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs 31-13, it was still a successful and surprising end to a season that looked very unpromising. They had started their season 1-5.
After the season ended, morale was high and the team had a lot of excitement surrounding it for 2019. That was until we were informed of his calf injury. It’s safe to say that Colts fans thoroughly freaked out. Team doctors then thought it was an issue with his os trigonum, which is a small bone behind the ankle. The final diagnosis was then decided: It was an ankle injury. The Colts’ brass was “cautiously optimistic” that he would be good for week one, until Luck abruptly announced his retirement.
Nobody can fill Luck’s shoes. But someone can fill his position. That guy is now Jacoby Brissett, who was one of the most talented and well-rounded backup quarterbacks in the entire league. He has filled in for Luck before, back in 2017. He threw for 3,098 yards, 13 touchdowns and 7 picks, and that was behind one of the worst offensive lines in football, with a significantly less talented receiving corps.
The Colts this year are a whole different beast. Their offensive line is now arguably the best in football, thanks to the likes of Ryan Kelly, Quenton Nelson and others. Brissett has T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, Deion Cain, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox and a plethora of other offensive weapons to choose from as well.
The Colts also have their number two gunslinger, Chad Kelly. Talk about a rollercoaster career. He started out at Clemson and was dismissed from the team a few years later due to negative conduct. He then won a championship with East Mississippi Community College. After that, he transferred to Ole Miss in 2015 and had a stellar season.
He was the very last pick in the 2017 NFL draft and was deemed “Mr. Irrelevant.” He was drafted by the Denver Broncos. He didn’t stay with the team long, as he was released on October 24, 2018 after being arrested for criminal trespassing.
The Colts signed him last May and he proceeded to get suspended from the league for two games. However, he showed up in the preseason. He completed 54-of-73 passes, threw two touchdowns, two picks and also ran for two touchdowns. Colts fans see promise, for sure.
This is a very young, talented team on both sides of the ball. Yes, they lost their leader. Their playmaker. Their captain. But this team is not done yet. It’s just the beginning. Jacoby Brissett is ready. Hopefully, when the season starts, the Colts can prove who they believe themselves to be.
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