21. Andrew Luck – Retired at 29 in 2019
During the third week of the 2019 NFL preseason, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the NFL world by announcing his retirement. His retirement was even more stunning given the fact that, with the duo of Luck and head coach Frank Reich, the Colts were considered by many to be a dark horse pick to win the AFC by many around the league
As the news emerged, Luck gave a public statement about the news, in which he cited his fatigue from constantly rehabbing the various injuries he sustained over the course of his 8-year NFL career. In that span, Luck sustained torn cartilage in 2 ribs, a partially torn abdomen, a lacerated kidney, a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder a lingering ankle and calf injury (that ultimately led to his retirement), and at least one documented concussion.
20. Terrell Davis – Retired at 29 in 2001
Another career characterized by a meteoric rise, and a sudden crash. After being picked in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL Draft, Terrell Davis shot up the Broncos depth chart during the preseason, and eventually won the starting job. Davis rewarded the organization by rushing for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie year. And that was just a minor glimpse into what he was capable of.
Over the next three seasons, he rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in each season. His 1,750 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns in 1997 and 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing in 1998 propelled the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl victories.
In 2000, he missed 11 more games due to injury, and then only played in 8 games during the 2001 season after getting surgery on both knees. Even when he was healthy enough to play during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, he was nowhere near the same player. Davis retired in 2002, leaving so many questions about what he could’ve accomplished if he hadn’t gotten injured.
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