Andrew Luck watched one last game from the sideline Saturday.
Then he said goodbye to the NFL.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback heard boos as he walked away from the field, then walked to the podium and made the surprise decision official. The oft-injured star is retiring at age 29.
‘‘I am going to retire,’’ he said. ‘‘This is not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me.’’
Luck said the repeated injuries, the lingering pain, and continual rehab took away his love for the game.
‘‘I'm in pain, I'm still in pain. It’s been four years of this pain, rehab cycle,’’ Luck said. ‘‘It’s a myriad of issues — calf strain, posterior ankle impingement, high ankle sprain. Part of my journey going forward will be figuring out how to feel better.’’
Luck wasn’t planning to make the announcement following Saturday’s 27-17 loss to the Chicago Bears. But when ESPN first reported the news during the fourth quarter, Luck changed the plan for a Sunday afternoon announcement.
Instead, he held a 25-minute impromptu news conference.
At times he sounded wistful. At others, his voice cracked with emotion.
One thing was clear: The endless barrage of injuries stripped away his joy for the game and prompted him to walk away so he could enjoy the life he wants.
‘‘There’s no doubt when you hear him talk about the cycle of pain and injury and rehab, you can hear that,’’ coach Frank Reich said. ‘‘There’s a saying in football that everyone knows and everybody lives by, it’s next man up and even though this situation is unique, no one is exempt.’’
That task now falls to Jacoby Brissett, a fourth-year player whom the Colts acquired from the Patriots in a cutdown weekend trade two years ago who has been practicing with the starters since April.
He went 4-11 as a starter in 2017 after taking over for opening day starter Scott Tolzien.
Luck played with shoulder pain for most of 2015 and 2016, and his 2015 season ended when he suffered a lacerated kidney. He missed all of 2017 following shoulder surgery and then the happy-go-lucky former Stanford star dealt with more pain and more endless months of rehab.
He returned last season and led the Colts back to the playoffs for the first time in four years, winning the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award.
But in March, he suffered a strained left calf, was held out of all of the team’s offseason workouts and returned on a limited basis for three practices at training camp in July. Lingering pain forced him back to the sideline and the Colts later determined that he had an injury near the back of his left ankle.
Luck finishes his seven-year career with 2,000 completions, 3,290 attempts, 23,671 yards, 171 touchdowns and 83 interceptions.
Newton still in walking boot
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he expects injured quarterback Cam Newton to return to practice ‘‘pretty soon,’’ without giving a timetable.
Newton sustained a left mid-foot sprain in Carolina’s 10-3 loss at New England on Thursday night.
Rivera remains ‘‘cautiously optimistic’’ that Newton, who remains in a walking boot, will be ready for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Rams.
Rivera says trainers want Newton to stay off the foot and keep it elevated as much as possible.
Texans’ Miller injures leg
Texans running back Lamar Miller sustained what coach Bill O'Brien called a serious knee injury on the second play of Houston’s 34-0 loss to the Cowboys. The NFL Network reported a source said the club fears Miller has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Miller was carted off after defensive tackle Maliek Collins slammed into his left leg at the line of scrimmage in what figures to be Miller’s only carry of the preseason . . . Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Friday night’s 13-12 preseason win over the visiting Browns when linebacker Adarius Taylor tackled him at the end of an 8-yard scramble in the third quarter.
Arrest in Bennett death
Authorities say the son of a former NFL lineman wanted on second-degree murder charges in Minnesota for the shooting of his parents has been arrested in Mexico.
The Todd County (Minn.) Sheriff’s Office says 22-year-old Dylan John Bennett was arrested at a hotel Saturday in Cancun.
Authorities say Bennett had contacted County Sheriff Steve Och earlier in the day to say he would turn himself in to the FBI. But authorities say the arrest by Mexican authorities came before the information could be communicated.
The bodies of 63-year-old Barry Bennett — who played 11 seasons with the Saints, Jets, and Vikings — and his wife, Carol, were found Wednesday at their home in Long Prairie, Minn. Their deaths were ruled homicide from gunshots.
Investigators believe the Bennetts were killed Monday.
Season not over for Lions
Lions coach Matt Patricia says injuries to linebacker Jarrad Davis (right foot) and center Frank Ragnow (righth leg) are not season-ending. Patricia said he didn’t think injured reserve was necessary, but he did not put a timetable on their returns. The pair were injured during the Lions’ 24-20 loss to Buffalo on Friday night. Davis and Ragnow were first-round draft picks in 2017 and ’18. Each started 16 games last season . . . The NFL Network reported that Paul Worrilow plans to retire, one day after the linebacker agreed to join the Ravens. Worrilow played for the Falcons (2013-16), Lions (2017), and Eagles (2018), compiling 415 tackles, 4 sacks, 11 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.