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Andrew Luck reveals details that led to his NFL retirement

ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham visited Luck several times in Indianapolis and California over the course of about a year to tell the story.

INDIANAPOLIS — An article published Tuesday reveals more details about why former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck retired from football and why he now wants back in the game.

(NOTE: The video in the player above is from an Aug. 2019 story about Andrew Luck's retirement announcement.)

ESPN senior writer Seth Wickersham visited Luck several times in Indianapolis and California over the course of about a year to tell the story.

13News spoke with Wickersham Tuesday afternoon.

The lasting image of Luck, for many Colts fans, is the franchise quarterback walking off the field to boos after a preseason game Aug. 24, 2019. News of his retirement plans had leaked on social media during the game and Luck confirmed his decision in a postgame news conference.

"I've been stuck in this process,” Luck said that night. “I haven't been able to live the life I wanted to live."

In the ESPN+ article, Luck describes how chronic pain made him someone he didn't like.

"He could feel himself reverting back to this kind of moody, selfish, very difficult person to be around, a person that he wasn't proud of, and a person that defined a lot of his existence,” said Wickersham.

Luck said he now wishes he would have retired at the end of the 2018 season.

"I regret the timing of when I retired,” Lucks admits in the article.

Credit: AP
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) before an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Wickersham writes that a week before the news of Luck’s retirement leaked, during a birthday party for his wife at a downtown Indianapolis restaurant, Luck told close friends he was going to retire.

Luck said he still wrestles with how his life became consumed with being a quarterback. 

"I doubt I will ever find the answers,” Luck told Wickersham. “All of them. Or any answers."

"He's still processing things,” says Wickersham. “And then after all these years after being away, and everything that's happened to the Colts, and everything that's happened to him since that day in August 2018 - he still told me he has the clarity that he doesn't need clarity."

Luck left Indianapolis with his wife and two daughters this fall to start graduate school at Stanford University. He wants to teach and coach football, just not in the NFL.

"I think that he wants to impact young people,” said Wickersham. “And I think that going back to his days in Indianapolis and his charities and what he really cared about outside of being a great quarterback, I think it was the impact on young people and the security of the knowledge that he has something to share." 

In the article, former Colts coach Frank Reich also admits to texting Luck and asking him to consider coming out of retirement, inspired by hearing the Police song "Message in a Bottle" on the radio.

But Luck said no thanks to Reich "sending out an S.O.S."

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