Getty Images

Andrew Luck is back in Indianapolis. Less than five years after one of the most shocking retirements in NFL history, Luck returned to the city where he quarterbacked from 2012-18. 

Luck returned to Indianapolis to attend former Colts coach Chuck Pagano's annual gala that helps donate money for cancer research. During the gala, Luck wore a wide smile as he reminisced about his years with the Colts. Luck, who was just 29 years old when he retired from the NFL, was asked if he ever had the itch to return to the NFL. 

"When I retired, that part of it was put to bed in my mind," Luck said, via The Athletic. "I certainly realize I still love this game, and I want to have it integrated in my life."

Luck said that Indianapolis has left a lasting impact on his life. He said he still has family in the Indianapolis area and even spent last Christmas in the area. 

"Certainly, I feel the love in the sense from the city, and I hope people know it's reciprocal," Love said, via CBS4 Sports. "I love this place." 

At the time of his retirement, Luck attributed his decision to the physical and mental toll of the injuries he had suffered during his career. Among the injuries Luck sustained was a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. 

Luck returned in 2018 and was named Comeback Player of the Year after earning his fourth Pro Bowl nod and leading the Colts to the AFC divisional round. But a calf injury was revealed via an MRI in March of 2019, which led to missed practice time which contributed to his decision to retire during the preseason. 

"This is not an easy decision. Honestly it's the hardest decision of my life," Luck said at the time of his announcement. "But it is the right decision for me. I've been stuck in this process. I haven't been able to live the life I want to live. It's taken the joy out of this game ... the only way forward for me is to remove myself from football."

Luck quickly moved on with his life after football. He and his wife had their first child in November of 2019. In 2022, he returned to his alma mater, Stanford, to pursue a master's degree in education. Last year, Luck began serving as a part-time volunteer football coach at Palo Alto High School. Luck was also was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2022. 

"This game gives you, as cheesy as it is, it gives you purpose," Luck said. "But (my) second act, third act, fourth act -- I know certainly I hope to continue to evolve and find ways in order to get the most out of life and to give back."

While his NFL career was relatively short, Luck accomplished a considerable amount during his six active seasons. He went 55-33 as the Colts' starting quarterback that included four trips to the playoffs. Luck led the Colts to four playoff wins that included a surprising AFC title game run in 2014. That playoff run included a shocking upset win over Payton Manning's Broncos. 

Speaking of Manning, Luck said that he considered himself lucky to play for a team that had become accustomed to playing at a championship-caliber level. 

"I got to come to a place that had really good football for a long time," Luck said. "What Peyton and the crew, the bar they set, was amazing. I certainly wanted to continue it. ... I walked into a locker room with Adam Vinatieri, Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as the four leaders. That's a dream. I loved football growing up. I watched those guys." 

Unlike many other athletes, Luck never considered a comeback. And while Luck may have prematurely left Indianapolis, Indianapolis hasn't left him. 

"I certainly feel like Indianapolis is a big part of the fabric of who I am," he said.