Sterling: Andrew Luck Was Never A Football Lifer

Kent Sterling didn't think Luck would retire in his 20s, but he knew Luck wouldn't play into his 40s – or even his late-30s

August 27, 2019 - 8:01 am
Andrew Luck Colts Press Conference

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Kent Sterling never thought Andrew Luck would retire in his 20s, but he also knew Luck wouldn’t play into his 40s – or even his late-30s.

“I think he’s one of those guys that’s going to be more successful outside of football than he was in it,” the Indianapolis insider said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think he’s guy who sees life from 35,000 feet and understands that it’s about family and it’s about constantly being challenged. I think football challenged him, but I think the price he had to pay to indulge in that challenge was just a little too great for him at this point.”

Which is why Luck, the No. 1 pick in 2012, announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday.

“Even at the age of 29, he’s not a lifer like Tom Brady or Drew Brees where you’re going to have to peel the uniforms off of him,” Sterling said. “I didn’t think he was going to do this at 29, but it wouldn’t have surprised me to see him do it at 33 or 34 and try to get out with some semblance of physical health. He’s got a new wife, he’s got a new baby on the way – I think all of that just kind of weighs on him.”

Luck has endured several serious injuries in recent years; some were tougher to overcome than others.

“When he’s in rehab and he’s not making progress, he goes to a dark place in his head, and he doesn’t like being that person,” Sterling said. “This constant cycle where it’s injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab ceaselessly kind of invading his life, he just decided it’s on to the next challenge and we’re going to have fun doing that, too.”

Nevertheless, conspiracy theories regarding Luck’s retirement abound. In fact, according to Pro Football Talk, the Colts were aware of Luck’s potential retirement in March and were trying to talk him out of it while also preparing Jacoby Brissett for the starting role.

Scott Ferrall doesn’t buy that.

“I don’t believe it either, but the Colts really don’t tell us anything – and Andrew Luck doesn’t tell us anything,” Sterling said. “In that vacuum of non-information, what we wind up doing is kind of making up stuff that kind of fits our own narrative. The conspiracy theorists are latching on to this March narrative that supports the idea that Jim Irsay is pulling strings to get season-ticket-holders to pony up for renewals knowing that maybe they’d back out if they knew Andrew Luck wasn’t going to play. But I don’t believe that. I don’t think Chris Ballard would stand idly by and allow that, and I don’t believe that Andrew Luck would do that. I don’t think he’d be a party to it.

Click below to listen to Sterling’s interview in its entirety.