It’s been five years since Andrew Luck left the Indianapolis Colts.

In a recent public appearance, Luck mentioned to reporters that the thought of returning to the league after his retirement never crossed his mind.

“When I retired, that part of it was put to bed in my mind,” he said, via ESPN's Stephen Holder.

Luck's surprising retirement decision became public during the fourth quarter of an Indianapolis Colts preseason game in August 2019. As he made his way to the locker room at Lucas Oil Stadium, he was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd.

Andrew Luck’s return to Colts HQ

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Luck made a return to Colts headquarters on Friday evening for the Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala, a fundraising event for the Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, organized by former coach Chuck Pagano. Pagano, who battled leukemia during Luck's rookie season, extended a personal invitation to Luck for the event.

This Friday, during one of his initial public appearances in Indianapolis since his retirement, Luck reflected on his tenure with the team. He acknowledged the complexities but emphasized that he cherished mostly positive memories from his time with the Colts.

“We were not perfect,” said the former No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

“I know I was not perfect. All of us wished we'd had multiple Super Bowls and done things and sort of vanquished some of those enemies that we didn't quite ever get to.”

What led to Andrew Luck’s retirement

After his retirement, Luck explained to reporters that the continuous cycle of pain and rehabilitation wore him down, ultimately leading to his decision to step away from football.

“But I could probably speak for all the other guys, and I know I could speak for myself again — it wasn't perfect, but we tried our best. We tried our hardest, and I hope we gave folks something to cheer about and something to be proud of. And I do get the sense that we [did],” Luck said.

His ongoing struggle with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, which had plagued him since Week 3 of the 2015 season, resulted in him missing the entire 2017 season.

Luck had a much better performance in 2018, but his troubles resurfaced the following offseason with persistent pain in his calf and the front of his ankle, which led to him sitting out all offseason activities from May to August before ultimately retiring.

Andrew Luck’s life after football

After retiring, the former No. 1 pick relocated to Northern California where he's currently pursuing a graduate degree in education at Stanford University. Additionally, Luck serves as a volunteer coach at Palo Alto High School and enjoys family life with his wife and two daughters.

Despite leaving the NFL and relocating to California, Andrew Luck maintains a significant connection to Indianapolis, according to Holder.

“I certainly feel like Indianapolis is a massive part of the fabric of who I am and where life has gone and highs and the lows and everything in between,” said Luck.

“It feels very real. So, yeah, I certainly feel the love, in a sense, from the city and I hope people know it's reciprocal. We love this place.”

Luck had a relatively brief NFL career, playing just five full seasons and part of a sixth. In that time, he earned Pro Bowl nods four times and threw 171 touchdowns in 86 starts, with a standout 40-touchdown season in 2014.

The Colts also saw success during his tenure, boasting a 53-33 record in games he started and making the playoffs four times.

Luck led his teams to the Divisional round on three occasions and reached the AFC Championship Game in 2014.