On August 24 last year, former four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck called it a career at the age of 29, shocking the whole NFL world. Luck, who played all of his seven seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, cited four-year cycle of "injury, pain, recovery, injury" as the reason for retiring in his prime.
Luck, the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft, was replaced in the starting lineup by Cody Brissett, who failed to lead the Colts to the playoffs. This offseason, the Colts signed eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers to be their new starting quarterback.
Rivers, who spent 16 years with the Los Angeles Chargers before signing with the Colts, remembers well where he was when the Luck news broke out. "I was walking off the field in a preseason game at halftime … somebody had gotten it, not a player, but somebody had gotten it when we were in the locker room," Rivers said, via Zak Keefer of The Athletic, as quoted on CBS Sports.
"Somebody passed it along because we were already shifting gears to the Colts that week (the Chargers' Week 1 opponent). Certainly, everybody out there was surprised."
The Luck news was so shocking that even Adam Schefter had doubts
ESPN Senior NFL Insider Schefter is one of the most trusted sources when it comes to breaking news and he was the one that announced on Twitter that Luck was about to call it a career.
"One of the first texts I received was from Matthew Hasselbeck (an ESPN analyst and Luck's former teammate with the Colts)," Schefter said on "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz." "And he said to me, 'Are you sure?' And I texted back 'Yes.'
And he said 'I don't know about that … I spoke to Andrew yesterday and today and he never mentioned anything to me.' And so when Andrew Luck's friend, and teammate and backup quarterback texted me asking me if I was right, I have to say it made me a little bit uneasy."
Luck won the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. "It's a sad story, it's a shocking story," Schefter said. "You've got a player who's about to turn 30-years-old in the prime of his career, who's great for the Colts, who's great for the Indianapolis, who's great for the National Football League, walk away prematurely because he was so worn down by everything that he had been through the previous year. "From that point, there's zero joy taken in seeing a great player leave the game."