The unthinkable happened in Indianapolis on Saturday.
During the fourth quarter of the Colts’ third preseason game against the Chicago Bears, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter tweeted the devastating news of Andrew Luck’s retirement from the NFL. “Andrew Luck has informed the Colts he is retiring from the NFL, per source. There will be a press conference Sunday to make it official, but Luck is mentally worn down, and now checking out”, Schefter tweeted.
The morale inside of Lucas Oil Stadium went from excitement and hope for the upcoming season to utter shock, confusion and chaos within a matter of minutes. The stands were flooded with phones being pulled from pockets and purses as Colts fans tried to process the news. Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, cancelled a fourth quarter press conference (with little notice) in light of the leaked information. As security hurried Luck to the exit tunnel, he was met with an angry array of “boos” from the attending fans.
It has been over a day since the devastating news shocked the NFL and fans alike, and we are left with one question: What is next for the Indianapolis Colts?
Jacoby Brissett Gets a Chance in the Driver’s Seat
Jacoby Brissett, acquired in 2017 during a trade with the New England Patriots, was picked up by the Colts to serve as Luck’s backup. Brissett now has a once in a lifetime chance to shine as the Colts’ starting quarterback. Luckily for the Colts, Brissett is no stranger to starting in regular season games. Brissett started in a total of 15 games during the 2017 season while Luck was plagued by injury. In total, he threw for over 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brissett has spent the past 18 months working with the Colts’ starting roster. While the departure of Luck is the last thing the Indianapolis Colts wanted (and needed), they have a stellar starting roster with a quarterback that is familiar with the playbook and their playing style.
Chad Kelly at backup QB?
We have seen a lot of positives this preseason in potential backup quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly was picked up by the Colts last May after being cut from the Denver Broncos due to legal issues. During Saturday’s preseason matchup with the Bears, Kelly completed 16 of 21 passes for a total of 209 yards, leaving him with a 103.1 passer rating and one touchdown. Kelly shined over Phillip Walker (who is also fighting for a roster position) who racked up 6 of 13 passes for 65 yards while on the field. Kelly is currently favored in the running for Brissett’s backup quarterback position. Of course, he must first serve his two-game suspension imposed after his issues with the law.
Bringing in a Veteran
There is always the possibility of the Colts bringing in an outside source to fill their starting quarterback position. Indianapolis has a first-round pick, two second-round picks and a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft. This leaves the team with plenty of opportunities to acquire a veteran QB. Potential candidates for the position include Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Nate Sudfeld. Only time will tell with Brissett leading the Colts into the 2019-20 season as the teams starting quarterback.
Luck’s decision to retire will remain as one of the most shocking moves in recent NFL history. Jacoby Brissett now has the chance to show the Colts (and the league) what he is made of.