When the Indianapolis Colts were eliminated from the playoffs, most fans were content with their quarterback situation heading into the offseason. After all, Philip Rivers gave the team borderline elite play under center and all signs pointed to both sides agreeing to a short contract extension.
Then everything came crashing down when Rivers shockingly announced his retirement just a few weeks after that loss. Since then, the Colts have been linked with seemingly every quarterback rumored to be on the move in the coming months.
After missing out on trade target Matthew Stafford, rumors emerged that indicated retired star Andrew Luck was giving serious thought about returning to the Colts. Given the sheer strides the front office has made in terms of bolstering the roster — especially the offensive line, which was an atrocity for most of Luck’s prime years — some fans clung to those rumors for dear life.
Eventually, however, the Colts’ braintrust revealed that Luck is more retired now than he was at the time of his decision, proving once and for all that the team needs to move on from hoping that he’ll one day return. In a candid interview with TMZ Sports that is bound to resonate with the divided fan base, linebacker Darius Leonard echoed this sentiment.
Colts linebacker Darius Leonard spoke the hard truth in light of the rumors surrounding Andrew Luck.
"“It’s been like two years now and all you hear is ‘Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck,’” Leonard told TMZ Sports. “We gotta move forward one of these days.“It just sucks that that’s the topic. He’s been retired for two years and we’ve been playing these games for two years without him and we’re still answering questions about him. We gotta move forward.”"
Leonard has never been one to shy away from calling things like they are, and these hard-truth comments about people clinging to Luck’s potential return proves that.
As we’ve seen with the Colts and other organizations over the last handful of seasons, finding a franchise quarterback isn’t as simple as some fans are led to believe. That task increases ten fold in difficulty when your star man, who just so happened to be one of the premier players at the position, retires smack in the middle of his prime.
That’s precisely the predicament Luck has put Indianapolis in, and the fact that we’ve heard so little from him since he walked away during the 2019 preseason should really drill it into the minds of fans (and the media) that he isn’t coming back. That’s the crux of what Leonard was trying to get at with these comments. The rumors are exhausting and they’re starting to take a toll on some of the players who’ve experienced them first-hand over the last year and a half.
The perennial Pro Bowler clearly has no ill will towards Luck. He just knows that clinging to the possibility of him returning is poor for team morale and will only lead to disappointment.
Again, it might not have been what you wanted to hear, but the fact that Leonard and seemingly the entire Colts locker room wants to move on proves that everybody with or without ties to the organization should do the same.