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Frank Reich: Andrew Luck is ‘honorable’ and ‘courageous’ to retire now

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich
Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich speaks during a news conference at the team’s training facility Monday in Indianapolis.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Despite what some Indianapolis Colts fans and others who cover the NFL might think, Andrew Luck did not let his team down when he announced his retirement two weeks before the start of the regular season, Colts coach Frank Reich said Monday.

“Someone asked me a question the other day, ‘Is there any sense that you felt like Andrew is letting down the team?’ The answer was an emphatic ‘No,’” Reich said during a news conference. “Why is that? Well, Colts fans know that we use a metaphor around here of climbing Mt. Everest to depict the journey of a regular season and the quest to get to the top and win a world championship. And anyone who’s made that climb knows that it requires a total commitment of the heart, complete and total commitment of the heart.”

Not everyone has been so supportive of Luck’s decision, which he announced Saturday following the Colts’ preseason game at home against the Chicago Bears. Luck, who was sidelined with a nagging ankle injury during the game, cited frustration over a constant “injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain, rehab.”

Word of Luck’s pending announcement spread throughout Lucas Oil Stadium during the game, leading some Colts fans to boo the quarterback who returned from a serious shoulder injury to lead the team into the playoffs last season.

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Former NFL quarterback and current CBS college football analyst Steve Beuerlein blasted Luck in a series of tweets Sunday.

“To do this to his teammates, organization, fans, and the NFL 2 weeks before the season is just not right,” wrote Beuerlein, who pointed out that he had 19 surgeries during his career.

“He owes it to his team. It is just a lower leg injury and it will heal! Just give it a chance. If it doesn’t walk away after this year.”

Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted Saturday: “Retiring cause rehabbing is “too hard” is the most millennial thing ever #AndrewLuck.”

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But a guy whose life will be much more affected by Luck’s decision is taking the high road on the matter.

“He did the right thing,” Reich said Monday of Luck. “He did the courageous thing and the honorable thing.”


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