Andrew Luck tried to explain to the public in his press conference on Saturday night why he was retiring. He talked about the cycle of injury, pain, rehab becoming so repetitive and frustrating the last several years that it robbed him of his joy for the sport of football.
For more context on what that looks like for an NFL player, Dan Orlovsky shared some insight.
Orlovsky played quarterback in the NFL from 2005-2015. He spent the 2011 season with the Colts, the year before Luck was drafted. More importantly for this context, Orlovsky was teammates with Calvin Johnson for five seasons, including 2015, which was Johnson’s final year. Johnson retired at age 30 despite being a top receiver in the league; he had 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns in his final year.
Orlovsky says he saw the same things with Luck that he saw with Johnson over the final season.
I watched the end of Calvin Johnson’s career. I watched him walk into a locker room at 5 every morning, physically, emotionally & mentally anguished over the pain of his injuries. I watched his smile fade to “I don’t want this anymore” I think of CJ when I watched Luck last night
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) August 25, 2019
Luck walking away from the NFL at age 29 and at in his prime as an MVP contender was nothing short of shocking. He seems to be at peace with his decision, knowing it is the right choice for him.
Johnson made the same choice for himself and never went back on his retirement decision despite teams trying to get him to return. Maybe Luck will be able to stay away just as Johnson has because both knew when they were done.