While many Indianapolis Colts fans are still reeling from Andrew Luck’s stunning retirement, the team’s leadership has already begun the painful process of moving on from the former face of the franchise.
Luck stunned the sports world on Saturday when he announced he was retiring at the age of 29 to put an end to an “unceasing, unrelenting” cycle of pain which has plagued him for the last four years.
Colts owner Jim Irsay summed up the feelings of a shocked organisation and fan base when he said at Luck’s hastily-arranged press conference that “part of our heart is broken tonight”.
But the Colts will have little time to grieve.
The team will travel to Cincinnati this week ahead of their final preseason game against the Bengals on Thursday, before opening the regular season with a difficult trip to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on September 8.
General manager Chris Ballard has put together one of the best young rosters in the NFL since taking over in 2017 but he now has a question mark at the NFL’s most crucial position, where Jacoby Brissett takes over as the Colts starter.
“We have got a good football team. This is a good football team. We are young, good on both fronts, [we have] some good young skill players and a good young quarterback in Jacoby Brissett,” said Ballard.