Earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speculated on an Andrew Luck return.
“He´s a special guy,” said Irsay. “We´ll have to see what happens.”
Head coach Frank Reich believes nothing is going to happen on the Andrew Luck front.
Frank Reich: I talk to Andrew Luck as a friend, don't think he'll play again https://t.co/GXV7HDIfQJ
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 26, 2020
“I think he´s retired,” Reich told Pro Football Talk on Wednesday.
Reich maintains contact with his former starter but says they never discuss a comeback.
That doesn´t mean folks won´t keep asking.
Colts GM Chris Ballard listens to a question and checks his watch in amazement. “Twelve minutes before the first Andrew Luck question.” pic.twitter.com/MbMU6RqAE7
— Sports Capital Jour (@SportsCapJour) February 25, 2020
“He´s like any other ex-player. You´re always gonna miss your buddies in the locker room. That´s normal.”
But Reich says that doesn´t mean Luck wants to come back.
“He´s just a good friend.”
Colts Do Nothing to Make Us Think Luck is Coming Back
Throughout the offseason, nothing Reich nor the Colts have done indicates they expect Luck to return.
They might not have a definitive plan to replace him, but they definitely are going to replace him somehow.
If the Colts draft a quarterback in April, it won't be just for the sake of drafting one. "You've got to be true to your evaluation."
And the questions Chris Ballard and Frank Reich need answered won't be asked at the Combine. https://t.co/9Ajkf3si8T
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) February 25, 2020
The Colts have been linked to a wide range of available and potentially available quarterbacks.
Free agency offers a wealth of possibilities including Jameis Winston and Case Keenum.
But the free-agent most associated with the Colts is former Charger Philip Rivers.
Rivers did well in previous seasons under his then-offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
The Raiders´ Derek Carr could be on the trading block, with the Colts among the teams with rumored interest.
.@zkeefer live from the combine talking about Jordan Love:
"Chris Ballard's been on this guy for two years. He's been on a lot of prospects for two years, but he was on Jordan Love before it was cool to be on Jordan Love. And before Andrew Luck retired. That's relevant here." pic.twitter.com/BuxYAVLdxq
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) February 26, 2020
If Love, or another of the top four prospects, fall to the Colts at #13, they would be hard-pressed to pass him up.
Jacoby Brissett is not getting much love among Colts´ management or coaches.
Some are willing to consider his knee injury led to his second-half collapse.
But it is difficult to back someone who ranked 34th in a 32-team league in passing yards.
What Was Irsay Talking About?
Discussing the possibility of an Andrew Luck return was an exercise in wishful thinking by Jim Irsay.
Irsay admits he “might never get over” losing his young star the way he did.
— IndyStar (@indystar) February 24, 2020
When Luck first told Irsay his plans, the owner´s instinct was to talk him out of it.
Irsay actually told Luck that he should reconsider because quarterbacks are so well protected today.
“Everyone knows, touch a quarterback, the flag´s on the ground, 15 yards,” Irsay told him.
Irsay might have done well to research the number of hits and sacks Luck took in the pre-Reich years.
Suffice to remind him Luck blamed a “cycle of injury, pain, and rehab” as the impetus behind his early retirement.
Irsay also asked Luck how he could walk away from $700 million?
But Irsay admits it was his personal hurt doing the talking then.
"Andrew (Luck) is my friend and I miss my friend."
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 24, 2020
He considers Luck a friend and says he is proud of the man he´s become.
“Right now,” said Irsay, “Luck is doing the most honorable thing a man can do: being a good husband and a tremendous father.”