Oliver Luck Reveals Why Andrew Retired From NFL

Many people want to know if Andrew Luck will return to the NFL, but they might not know why he left in the first place

Zach Gelb
January 09, 2020 - 8:16 am
Andrew Luck Retirement

USA Today Images


Oliver Luck dropped by dozens of radio shows on Wednesday, and just about every host asked about his son, Andrew. Most of those questions, though, were about whether Andrew would ever return to the NFL.

Very few were about why he left.

As Oliver Luck told CBS Sports Radio, Andrew loved the game, but after enduring so many injuries, he couldn’t continue on the path he was on. He didn’t want to start resenting the game.

It was tough for Oliver to hear that from his son.

“It was a challenge,” Luck said on The Zach Gelb Show. “But he’s a great kid. He loves the game. He gave it everything he had. What I really admire, though, is he said to me, ‘Dad, I just couldn’t keep doing it.’ That cycle of injury, rehab, injury, rehab just got too much. He didn’t want to stick around and begin to resent the game. He wanted to leave the game and still love the game. That’s pretty impressive. That’s important.”

Luck, who played for the Houston Oilers in the 1980s, has seen the opposite firsthand.

“I played years ago around a bunch of guys who hung on as long as they could, and they begin to resent the game because of injuries and the way they’re being treated,” Luck said. “So I sort of admire the fact that he was able to sort of step outside of himself almost and say, ‘I want to leave the game but still really respect it and enjoy it and love it.’”

Sadly, news of Andrew’s retirement was leaked, and he was booed at a preseason game. That was a tough ending for a four-time Pro Bowler who had given the Colts everything he had for six years.

“Yeah, it was, but it is what it is,” Luck said. “I’ll tell you what: He loves Indianapolis. It’s a great fan base up there. It was the end of a meaningless preseason game with maybe a couple thousand people left in Lucas Oil. So I’m not sure that was indicative of the kind of support that Colts fan had given Andrew as well as the entire team.”

Luck, who is commissioner of the XFL, also discussed the return of the league, as well as its unique and innovative rules. One such rule? Overtime will consist of five shootout-like rounds in which each possession starts at the opponent’s 5-yard line and the offensive team has one play to score. The team with more points after five rounds is the winner.

“I think it’s an interesting model,” Luck said. “We wanted the players – the 22 guys, the starters on offense and defense for each team – that took that game into overtime, that played 60 minutes of regulation, we wanted them to really decide the game, not a kicker. That means this shootout concept that we have.”

Click below to learn more about the league.