Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck stunned the NFL world when, at age 29, announced his immediate retirement from football.
It was news that was unexpected to everyone but Luck and those close to the former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick.
During a hastily assembled press conference late Saturday night following the Colts’ preseason game against the Chicago Bears, Luck — with tears in his eyes — explained his shocking decision.
He said enduring the constant, unrelenting pain that football brought, ultimately forced him out of the game.
But before concluding his more than 30-minute address, Luck mentioned all of his teammates, including one who had a profound impact on his 86-game career.
That would be former Alabama A&M legend Robert Mathis, who Luck called his “football hero.”
“There’s a lot of the guys I have to thank. Robert Mathis quickly became and will always be my football hero,” Luck said. “I loved playing with him and watching him play; he was as good a teammate as I’ve ever had.”
Mathis, who was selected in the fifth round out of Alabama A&M in 2003, spent his entire career with the Colts until his retirement in 2016. Mathis was the Colts’ franchise leader in sacks (122) and has an NFL-record 40 career strip sacks.
What was his reaction to Luck’s retirement?
Wow. That is all.
— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) August 25, 2019
That four-word tweet pretty much spoke for everyone who learned of Luck’s exit from the NFL.