While the rest of the world hasn't heard or seen much of Andrew Luck since the former Pro Bowl quarterback abruptly retired just before the start of the 2019 season, T.Y. Hilton still speaks with him on a weekly basis. For those of you holding out hope that they're talking football and a possible return for Luck, think again. Hilton stated as firmly as Luck two years ago did that there will be no return.
Hilton and Luck were drafted in the same class by the Colts and formed one of the best one-two partnerships in the NFL for eight seasons. After Luck retired, Hilton dedicated the 2019 season to him. Unsurprisingly, they remain close friends. If there's one person I'll listen to when it comes to Luck intel besides Luck himself, it's Hilton.
Earlier this offseason, Colts owner Jim Irsay, who also still speaks with Luck, left the door open for his return, saying, "I think in the end, I just, honestly think the Colts will have an outstanding decade. And I think Andrew will have an outstanding life. Will those things meet? It's very possible, but it's also not possible. I really don't have any more updated information more than that. We'll see what happens, but we have to go on with the assumption that he's not going to be back. If he comes back, that's easy, that's easier."
Well, any open-ended statement about Luck returning can now be shut, which isn't a surprise considering Luck's thought process when he retired in the first place.
After battling injuries for much of his career, including shoulder surgery which could have ended his career, and spending offseasons rehabbing from those injuries, Luck said, "I felt stuck and the only way out of it is to no longer play football. It's taken my joy away from the game."
He had made over $100 million in career earnings and was tired of the mental and physical grind playing at the highest level. So he hung up his cleats to spend more time with family. As Hilton mentioned, it sounds like that's going great.
While it's natural to look back on Luck's career as a what-if situation, at this point it's better to celebrate his accomplishments and appreciate the time we had watching him play. He was as talented as any quarterback we've seen over the last two decades and could have grinded his way to a Hall-of-Fame career. Instead he put his long-term health and family ahead of personal desires of greatness. It seems to be working out just fine.