Jim Kelly: Andrew Luck retirement gives nephew chance with Colts

By Alex Butler
Former Denver Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly (6) signed with the Indianapolis Colts in May. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts
Former Denver Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly (6) signed with the Indianapolis Colts in May. Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly said the "plus side" of Andrew Luck's retirement is that it gives his nephew Chad Kelly a chance to show the Indianapolis Colts "what he can do."

Luck announced his decision to retire Saturday, citing numerous injuries and an unrelenting pattern of rehab. That drew boos from the crowd during a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Luck's decision to walk away from the NFL also drew criticism on social media.


Chad Kelly initially entered the league as a seventh-round pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 NFL Draft. The former Mississippi quarterback did not see the field in 2018 and was cut in 2018. The Broncos released Kelly in October after he was arrested on criminal trespassing charges.


He signed with the Colts in May.

"When you get beat up the way he has gotten beat up in the past, things are going to start hitting you. Unfortunately for the NFL and for the Colts, it has hit him sooner than later," Jim Kelly told Spectrum News.

"But the plus side of that is now it gives my nephew Chad a great opportunity to show more of what he can do. I don't think anybody has ever questioned his on the field performance, as we've seen the last three weeks.

"I think he has his head together. I know, I spent a lot of time with him this summer. I just keep praying everything works out for him."

Colts coach Frank Reich was a backup quarterback to Jim Kelly when the NFL legend was the starter for the Buffalo Bills.

Jacoby Brissett now sits atop the Colts depth chart at the quarterback position. Kelly and Phillip Walker are listed as backup options behind Kelly. Walker has never taken a regular season snap in the NFL. Kelly appeared in one game last season for the Broncos, taking a knee for a one-yard loss in October against the Los Angeles Rams.


Kelly has completed 41-of-57 passes for 445 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in three games this preseason. Walker has completed 24-of-48 passes for 259 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in three games this preseason.

Brissett, Kelly and Walker all practiced with the Colts on Monday, for the first time without Luck on the roster. Kelly is suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"It stinks that I wasn't here sooner where I could've learned a whole bunch more [from Luck]," Chad Kelly recently told reporters. "Obviously he's a great quarterback. He's proven himself, he's won a ton of games, and he did it at such a high level and with a lot of people trusting everything he did and said. That's what I wanna be able to get to. Hopefully, down the road I can talk to him and still learn as much as I can from him."

Kelly is listed as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart for the Colts' final preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday in Cincinnati.

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