6. Andrew Luck:
The most recent early retirement on our list was most certainly a shocking one. Drafted with the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL season, Luck was billed as the next big thing at quarterback. Based on his on-field success, that billing may not have been an unrealistic possibility. Luck made four Pro Bowls in seven years. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns during the 2014 season. His Colts also made the AFC Championship Game that year.
All told, Luck had 23,671 passing yards and threw 171 touchdowns compared to only 83 interceptions in seven years. Those are definitely great numbers. But Luck never lived up the countless predictions that he would become one of the game’s all-time legends. He was plagued by many serious injuries throughout his career. They started with a lacerated kidney and shoulder injury in 2015. He played with the shoulder injury in 2016, but it only got worse. Luck was forced to miss the entire 2017 season as a result.
He came back with a vengeance in 2018, achieving one of his best seasons and winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. The Colts had the best offensive line of his career and were poised to make a run at a Super Bowl. Once again the injury bug struck, with Luck missing the start of training camp thanks to a mysterious ankle injury. Weeks before the season began, Luck shockingly retired due to the cycle of injuries he had experienced. You can’t blame him for doing so. It’s just too bad we’ll never get to see his full potential. He had it all.