Andrew Luck said that he could no longer go through the cycle of injury and rehab, so he decided to call it quits, and now J.J. Watt admits that he has considered giving up the game as well.
Luck announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday night, after news broke during the Indianapolis Colts’ third preseason game. Luck said that his constant injuries took away his love for the game and left him weary of the endless cycle of rehab and the injury that came with it. As ESPN reported, Luck informed Colts owner Jim Irsay of the decision before the news broke on Saturday night, and now the team is prepared to move forward with former backup Jacoby Brissett as the starter.
Though some Colts fans reacted by booing Luck as he ran off the field following the team’s preseason game, many fellow NFL players have stood up for Luck and praised the Pro Bowl quarterback for thinking about his own health and future. Some have even admitted they considered retirement, including Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Watt said that injures can take a significant toll on players and said that he has, at times, considered whether it might be better just to retire rather than endure the painful surgeries and rehab that come with those injuries. Watt and Andrew Luck both suffered season-ending injuries in 2017, with Watt fracturing the tibial plateau in his left leg in his team’s fifth game and Luck never playing a down after suffering serious shoulder and neck injuries.
As Pro Football Talk reported, Watt had nothing but praise for Luck and his decision to think about his own long-term health.
“He’s an incredible competitor,” Watt told reporters. “I’ve loved playing against him. I think it takes an immense amount of courage, an immense amount of self-reflection and a lot of guts to do what he’s doing. I’m sure people have their ways of looking at it and their ways of trying to say what they would do in his shoes, but the truth is, nobody’s in his shoes. Nobody has had to go through what he has had to go through.”
An incredible competitor and a truly great person. I’ll miss competing against a guy who always played the game extremely hard, with an immense amount of respect. Wishing Andrew nothing but the absolute best moving forward. I know this had to be unbelievably difficult decision. pic.twitter.com/jgMHwJvPxo
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 25, 2019
Watt admitted that it can be hard for fans to understand just how difficult it is to go through injuries, especially as they only get to see the players on the field on gameday and don’t know what they go through during the week as they recover from injuries and rehab.