'It's taken my joy away': Colts QB retires from NFL at just 29

Andrew Luck has stunned the NFL world after announcing his retirement at the age of 29 because the “joy” of the game has gone.

Shades of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson before him, Luck, one of the most recognisable figures and beloved beards in the NFL, abruptly decided to retire citing mental exhaustion.

Luck said it was “the hardest decision of my life”.

“For the last four years I have been in this cycle of injury, pain and rehab,” he said in a press conference.

“It’s been unrelenting. I felt stuck in it and the only way I see out is to no longer play football.

Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the first half of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

“It’s taken my joy of this game away. I’ve been stuck in this process and I haven’t been able to live the life I wanted to live.”

The jarring development is almost incomprehensible. Luck hasn’t turned 30 and would’ve been at the controls of a team many sportsbooks in New Jersey and Nevada pegged 10/1 to win the Super Bowl.

He was blessed with a top-five offensive line, upgraded supporting cast and above average defense. The Colts were set up beautifully to push New England and Kansas City for superiority in the AFC.

And now, in what will surely go down in league history as one of the most shocking developments ever, Jacoby Brissett ascends into the QB job.