"I'm going to retire, this is not an easy decision," Luck said after the Colts' preseason loss to the Chicago Bears this weekend. "This is the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me."
Luck explained, through tears, that the injuries had taken a toll on him and factored into his decision.
"[The injuries have] taken my joy of this game away. I've been stuck in this process, haven't been able to live the life I want to live. After 2016, I played in pain and was unable to practice, I said I wouldn't go through that again."
"It's sad, but I also have a lot of clarity in this. Difficult process. My wife, family, friends, Chris Ballard, Mr. Irsay, Frank Reich have been incredibly supportive. Thankful for them."
"Part of our heart is broken," Colts owner Jim Irsay said after Luck's announcement. He also noted that the decision was tough financially at the start of the game.
After the bittersweet preseason loss to the Bears, crowds booed the quarterback off the Lucas Oil Stadium field for the final time.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't hear the reaction," he said. "It hurt."
Colts general manager Chris Ballard joined Irsay and Reich after Luck's announcement and addressed the fans' reaction:
"For those people that booed tonight, it's an emotional time, I understand this," Ballard said. "But this young man has done a lot for the city of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Colts. No one died and we'll keep moving forward. We'll make this city proud."
The 29-year-old, who earned the title of NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year last season, has struggled with a painful left leg injury with a calf strain and a high ankle issue. However, Luck never mentioned that he was considering retirement.
Luck shared in the presser that he had been thinking about leaving the game for a "week-and-a-half, two weeks, a little bit fast and furious" because of his lack of recovery from the ankle/calf injury.
"Monday we all sat down and had a talk," Ballard said. "Continued through the week. Some emotional talks on all parts. Not any negative emotional talks. Just some real talks."
After the exit, the Colts will enter the official season with Jacoby Brissett as the starting quarterback. Luck and the staff were supportive of the new quarterback and his leadership.
"It was an honor to represent the city of Indianapolis on and off the field," Luck said, choking up. “This has been an incredible place to make a home and grow. This city will always hold a special place in my heart."