By Louis Addeo-Weiss
The retirement of longtime quarterback Andrew Luck on August 24th took the football world by surprise.
The number one overall selection out of Stanford in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck stated his retirement came on the heels of his extensive injury history.
“The only way forward for me is to remove myself from football,” said Luck at his retirement press conference.
2018, while proving to be his final season, simultaneously happened to be among the best of his career. Leading the Colts to a 10-6 record and an AFC Divisional Playoff, Luck’s 67.3% completion percentage was the best such mark in his career and led all qualified NFL quarterbacks. His 2.3% interception-rate was his lowest since sophomore season of 2013 when only 1.6% of his pass attempts were taken away.
In lieu of Luck’s untimely retirement, many wondered what the club’s quarterback situation would look like post-Luck.
Well, any speculation of what would happen to the Jim Isray owned club was laid to rest when ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported the signing of recently released Patriots’ backup journeyman Brian Hoyer to a three-year/$12M extension.
Hoyer, who has spent time with the 49ers, Bears, Texans, Browns, Cardinals, Steelers, and the aforementioned Patriots, will presumably assume a backup role for fellow former Patriot Jacoby Brissett.
Expected to hold the clipboard for Luck in 2019, the former Stanford Cardinal’s retirement elevated the West Palm Beach-native to the club’s presumed starter, and immediately after the announcement of Hoyer’s signing, this was seemingly confirmed when news broke of a 2-year/$30M extension.
Brissett had previously spent extensive time as the Colts’ starter, manning the helm for 15 games in 2017 when Luck went down with a shoulder injury.
In those 15 games started, the Colts played to a 4-11 record, as Brissett threw for a respectable 3,098 yards, and a 13-7 TD-INT ratio. His 52 sacks that season were most among all NFL quarterbacks, per football-reference.
With Brissett presumably locked in as their starter, head coach Frank Reich should expect to run an offense with strong emphasis on the ground game.
According to football-reference’s adjusted passing metrics, particularly completion percentage index, where 100 is considered average, Brissett grades as a below-average passing quarterback, posting an 84 Cmp%+.
For the time being, while the ensuing moves in the wake of Luck’s retirement may signal a club unsure of their quarterback situation.
Should Brissett firmly engrain himself into the starting job, the Colts may have found an immediate stabilizer to replace Luck, but should the adverse occur, Brian Hoyer taking a majority of the snaps will only place a larger question mark over the head of the Colts’ organization moving forward.