Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not happy with the way Andrew Luck's retirement was handled on Saturday.
In an interview on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio, Rodgers said he felt for Luck having to hear fans at Lucas Oil Stadium boo him after news of his retirement broke in the midst of the Colts' preseason contest against the Bears.
"Well, the surprise was obviously the first emotion. He’s a young player, he’s had a really, really good career," Rodgers said. "But I think the second is a little disgust, maybe, at the way that it was handled. Him getting booed, the word leaking out the way that it did, I thought that was a little disgusting because here’s a guy who’s making a quality of life decision. And he’s given a lot to the game, although he’s not a 15-year vet, but he’s put himself through a ton just to get back on the field."
Luck, 29, was set to enter his eighth season with the Colts, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Stanford. He led the Colts to the playoffs in his first three seasons, including the 2014 AFC Championship Game. A shoulder injury in Week 3 of the 2015 season was the first of a long list of ailments Luck has suffered since, which includes a torn cartilage in two ribs and a lacerated kidney.
Luck missed the entire 2017 season while dealing with a shoulder injury before rebounding with a fourth Pro Bowl year in 2018, throwing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns while leading the Colts back to the playoffs.
Currently battling a high left ankle injury that was first diagnosed as a calf strain, Luck ultimately decided to make "the hardest decision of my life," announcing his retirement in an emotional press conference Saturday night.
"I’ve been stuck in this process," Luck said. "I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It’s taken the joy out of this game. After 2016 when I played in pain, and wasn’t regularly able to practice, I made a vow I wouldn’t go down that path again. The only way forward is to remove myself from this cycle. I came to the proverbial fork in the road, and made a vow if I ever did again I would choose me, in a sense."
Rodgers noted that, if Luck had wanted to, the signal-caller could have gone on injured reserve and collected his salary, rather than retiring when he did.
"I think what he did was actually very unselfish," Rodgers said. "Does he not start the season? He could be on IR, and then he’s cashing a paycheck from the Colts without playing. But instead he’s making the decision now so they can move forward with Jacoby [Brissett], and he’s making a decision that’s for his own quality of life and happiness, and I salute him for that. And I enjoyed competing against him. He’s a hell of a player, and I’m happy for whatever is next with Andrew."