Andrew Luck Returns to Colts Facility ... Hangs with Jacoby

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What are YOUUUUUU doing here?!!?

Andrew Luck returned to the Colts headquarters in Indianapolis on Thursday -- the first time we've seen him back there since retiring in August ... and he looks happy!

The QB hung up his cleats right before the regular season kicked off, explaining he couldn't handle any more physical abuse.

Of course, Jacoby Brissett took over as QB1 and he's been doing pretty well so far ... the Colts are 3-2 and coming off a huge upset victory over the KC Chiefs.

The Colts are on a bye this week -- but a bunch of players were still at the facility on Thursday including T.Y. Hilton, Jacoby ... and Andrew Luck!?

Yep!

In fact, the healthy-looking Luck even posed for a pic with Brissett, actor Mike Epps and Amp Harris, a big-time promoter/manager.

Remember, the fans in Indy booed Luck off the field when they learned of his impending retirement ... and Luck said the boos hurt his feelings.

But, seems it's all water under the bridge now ... which is good to see.

30-year-old Luck -- who reportedly made more than $109 MILLION during his NFL career -- has said he wanted to travel the world and live life away from football.

But, clearly, those plans are on hold ... at least for now.

Brandon Marshall Colts Should Sign Kaepernick More Upside Than Brissett

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BIGGER THAN FOOTBALL
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The Colts should have been on the phone with Colin Kaepernick the second Andrew Luck retired ... so says Brandon Marshall, who tells TMZ Sports Kap's got more upside than Jacoby Brissett!!!

"I know Jacoby knows the offense, but I think the upside of Kap is better," Marshall says ... "It's higher, you know what I'm saying?"

Kap's been famously out of the NFL since taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 ... but his ex-college teammate thinks now is the PERFECT time for a squad to bring him back in.

"Honestly, man, a team like the Colts, they could've used him," says Marshall, who played with Kaepernick at Nevada from 2008-2010. "The Dolphins, they could've used him."

"He could upgrade that roster immediately," Marshall added. "Even with being out of the league for three years, he could definitely upgrade that roster. I think that's an easy pick."

Seems Colin would be more than ready if one of those team's GMs called ... he's posted a couple workout videos this summer -- and he sure looked good throwing to Odell Beckham Jr.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

But, even if a team doesn't come calling this season ... Marshall says he's damn proud of his friend, telling us, "God chose him for a reason to be the face of the movement at the expense of his career, unfortunately."

"But, I'm proud of him. I'm proud of him. Not many people would have done that. And, it's really bigger than football."

Eric Dickerson Racist Colts Fans Taunted Me With Black Doll, Watermelon & Chicken

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NFL legend Eric Dickerson says Colts fans booing Andrew Luck brought back hurtful memories of his own experience in Indianapolis ... claiming racist fans taunted him with a black baby doll holding watermelon and chicken.

ED recalled the moment from 1988 on "Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney" on AM 570 L.A. Sports on Monday ... saying, he had just become the fastest player to reach 10,000 yards in league history and got booed by Indianapolis fans ... but that wasn't the worst part of it.

"I've never forgot that," the Hall of Famer said. "But, the thing that really sticks out the most to me, I will never forget this ... they took a black baby sitting in Indian-style position, put a stack of money on one side, watermelons on the other and me holding fried chicken in my hand with big red lips."

Dickerson says some of his black teammates thought it was funny ... but he clearly didn't.

"I've never EVER forgotten it and I never will forget it. That's why if I don't go back to Indy, I'm fine with that."

Dickerson played 5 seasons with the Colts ... and was added to the team's Ring of Honor in 2013.

"I know I played for that team, but I really have some ill feelings about that."

Indianapolis Colts Show Must Go On ... QBs Compete Without Luck

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Pictured: Jacoby Brissett (#7). P.J. Walker (#5). Chad Kelly (#6).

Not Pictured: Andrew Luck (#12).

The Indianapolis Colts kicked off their first practice since Andrew Luck's sudden retirement on Saturday ... with 3 QBs all vying to take his spot.

Of course, Brissett has a tremendous advantage ... not only did he start when Luck was injured last year, but he's a pretty solid quarterback.

Remember, back in 2017 (when Luck was injured) Jacoby stepped up and threw for more than 3,000 yards with 13 TDs and 7 INTs in 15 starts.

As for the rest of the QBs, the war is on for that backup spot ... and NFL legend Jim Kelly thinks it's a hell of an opportunity for his nephew, Chad.

In fact, Jim told Greg Vorse he's excited for Chad to be able to compete and thinks CK has the talent to be a real successful NFL quarterback.

Chad has had several off-the-field issues over the years, including a bizarre arrest last year that led to the Broncos cutting him ... but Jim says he thinks Chad has moved past all of that.

"I think he's got his head together," Kelly said ... noting that he's spent a TON of time working with Chad this offseason.

So, what's the deal with P.J. Walker? He's been on the Colts practice squad for the past couple of years after playing his college ball at Temple ... he's got the most to prove on the field.

Good luck!

Tom Brady Defends Andrew Luck's Retirement ... 'It's His Life'

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LET HIM LIVE
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Tom Brady is clapping back at the Andrew Luck haters -- saying, "It's his life. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to do."

Luck was showered in boos from Colts fans on Saturday who were pissed at the 29-year-old for retiring just 2 weeks before the season.

Some ex-NFL players and reporters have also trashed Luck -- essentially saying he's screwing over his teammates, coaches and fans.

But, Tom Brady ain't hearing that crap ... essentially defending Luck during his weekly appearance on "The Greg Hill Show" on WEEI.

"Everybody wishes they could be healthy all the time," Brady said ... "It is a contact sport and he’s certainly had his fair share of injuries, so guys retire at different times."

Don't worry, Tom ain't going anywhere ... the 42-year-old QB made it clear he wants to keep playing as long as he can -- and says his family, friends, teammates and trainer are behind him all the way.

"It feels great when you have that support because a football season is like a marathon. There’s moments where it is very challenging whether it’s physically, emotionally, or mentally -- you need somebody to help you push through the hard parts because it’s not all easy."

Brady added, "It’s a great challenge, but it is very rewarding when you meet the challenge, too."

What's interesting is that Tom's wife, Gisele, has spoken publicly about her concerns for Tom's long-term health ... saying in 2017 he has concussions all the time that "we don't talk about."

She also went on Ellen in late 2018 and suggested she tried talking Tom into retiring ... but "wasn't very successful."

Tom's not the only star QB defending Luck -- Troy Aikman came out swinging at Doug Gottlieb, who tweeted, "Retiring cause rehabbing is 'too hard' is the most millennial thing ever."

Aikman fired back -- "That's total bulls**t Doug. What qualified you to decide how someone should live their life?"

Luck made roughly $100 million during his NFL career -- so he doesn't need the money. Luck has said he wants to spend more time with his family and exploring the world off the gridiron.

Edgerrin James Training 8th Grade Son To Be A Beast ... Pumping Serious Iron!

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GETTING PUMPED

Here's Edgerrin James building a BEAST ... the ex-NFL star is giving his 8th grade son weight room tips -- and it doesn't seem like it'll be long before the kid is tearing up the gridiron!!!

Edgerrin's son, Eden, is about to start high school ... but it's pretty clear he's going to have a HUGE leg up on the rest of the freshmen in his class 'cause of his legendary pops.

The 15-year-old is getting personal gym lessons from Edgerrin himself ... and seems it's already working.

Check out some of the weight Eden's pushing around -- 225-plus-pound squats, 155-pound bench presses, 135-pound front squats and more. BEAST!!!

Edgerrin's already said he hopes Eden's good enough to ultimately end up at his alma mater -- The U -- and it sure looks like he's on his way.

By the way, the former Indianapolis Colts RB also has another younger son, Edgerrin James Jr., who's killin' it on the basketball floor as a middle schooler.

Edgerrin knows both can be special athletes -- he said in a recent interview, "They’re legit ... They’re really good.”

Clearly, apple don't fall far from the Edge!!!!

NFL's Pat McAfee Smacked w/ Kendo Stick By WWE Star ... Insane Bruise!!!

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THE BRUTAL SMACK
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Ex-NFL punter Pat McAfee learned the hard way ... WRESTLING HURTS! 

McAfee was hosting his WWE Watch Along show for the 'Extreme Rules' pay-per-view -- when he invited WWE legend Matt Hardy to demonstrate a Kendo stick attack on his back. 

Hardy reached back and delivered an EPIC shot on Pat's back -- creating one of the most painful sounds we've ever heard -- and leaving one hell of a black and blue mark!!

The entire room erupted ... as Pat tried to cope with the pain. It's insane. 

What's interesting ... one of the stars in the room was Baron Corbin -- who was hit with a Kendo stick by Seth Rollins during their main event match later that evening! 

Bottom line ... it may be scripted, but it ain't fake. 

By the way, McAfee was a pretty solid punter in the NFL -- he was a 2-time Pro Bowler and was a 1st-team All-Pro in 2014. 

He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 7th-round of the 2009 NFL Draft -- and played until 2016, when he retired (partially due to knee injuries). 

Feel better, bro. 

Archie Manning No Hard Feelings ... Over Giants Drafting Eli's Replacement

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GIANT CHALLENGE AHEAD
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If ya think Eli Manning's dad is pissed the Giants drafted his son's replacement ... think again -- 'cause Archie Manning tells TMZ Sports, Daniel Jones is a GOOD pick for the G-men.

"They drafted a really good, young man," Archie says ... "A really good, young player."

Of course, the Giants just picked up the Duke QB with the No. 6 overall selection in April's NFL Draft ... and that means Eli's days are officially numbered in NY.

But, Archie says he ain't mad Eli's team drafted a guy to replace him ... and, in fact, Papa Manning says he actually saw it coming.

"I knew they were probably going to draft a QB," Archie says.

As for how Eli is handling the situation, Archie tells us the 38-year-old isn't ready to give up the starting QB reins just yet ... saying, "he's working hard, ready to go."

By the way, we also asked how Peyton is dealing with rooting for both the Colts and Broncos now that he's retired ... and Archie says he's finding a way to do it just fine!!!

Tom Hanks Meets Andrew Luck ... Do You Get Made Fun Of A Lot?

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IGNORE WHAT THEY SAY

"How often have you suffered because of your last name?"

That's one of Tom Hanks' first-ever questions to Andrew Luck ... straight-up wondering how much the Indianapolis Colts QB has been made fun of in his life.

Don't worry ... Luck played off the awkward question well -- "It goes both ways!" -- and the two had a pretty fun first encounter Wednesday nonetheless.

Hanks and Luck were together for an event at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis ... when Hanks revealed he's a big Luck fan -- telling the QB, "I love watching you play."

The two talked for a while ... discussing everything from Indianapolis, to social media to dealing with haters. Tom was a co-host on NBC's 'Today' Thursday ... a special spotlighting Elizabeth Dole's Hidden Heroes' campaign.

They even posed for a pic too ... and the caption the Colts wrote for it couldn't have been more perfect -- "Andy and Woody."

Just like "Toy Story" ... get it?!?!

Chad Kelly Signs with Colts After Working with Uncle Jim Kelly

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Troubled QB Chad Kelly just signed a new contract with the Indianapolis Colts -- and it begs the question ... is his uncle, Jim Kelly, to thank?

Here's the deal ... Jim had been working out with Chad this offseason to help him get a second shot in the NFL after he was cut by the Denver Broncos in 2018 following a bizarre arrest.

SOLID SUPERVISION

But, it's also hard to ignore the Jim Kelly connection with the Colts -- a team coached by Jim's former backup, Frank Reich!

Remember, Frank famously took over for an injured Jim Kelly in Buffalo during the 1992 NFL playoffs and led the Bills to the most historic comeback win ever when they were down 35-3 at halftime to the Houston Oilers.

So, did Jim call in a favor to his old friend?

Maybe ... but Chad still has to cut it on the field or else he'll be outta there.

Chad has to keep his nose clean while trying to earn his job on the regular season roster -- he was just sentenced to 1 year supervised probation after striking a plea deal in his home invasion arrest.

As we previously reported, Chad entered a random person's home after a night of boozing with the team back in October -- and was chased out of the home by a man wielding a vacuum cleaner tube.

After the Broncos cut Chad, his Hall of Fame uncle Jim met up with him to help guide along his QB workouts ... and he looked pretty good.

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LOOKIN' GOOD
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Kelly got a tryout with the Colts earlier this month -- and it seems they liked what they saw.

Kelly will be the 4th QB on the roster going into camp -- so he's got a huge uphill battle to keep his job ... but hey, stranger things have happened.

Gino Marchetti NFL Hall of Famer Dead at 92

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NFL Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti -- a 2-time NFL champ -- has died at the age of 92, his family confirms.

Marchetti wasn't just a legend on the field -- he was a U.S. Army soldier who bravely fought in the Battle of the Bulge as a machine gunner in World War II.

After he returned home from the war, Marchetti was selected in the 2nd round of the 1952 NFL Draft by the New York Yanks, which later became the Baltimore Colts.

During his NFL career, Marchetti -- mainly a defensive end -- was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and was a 9-time 1st Team All-Pro!!!!!

Marchetti was such a stud, he was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, joining guys like Deacon Jones and Reggie White.

His number 89 jersey was retired by the Indianapolis Colts -- and he's a member of the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor.

Marchetti passed away at a Pennsylvania hospital with his wife, Joan, by his side.

Joan told the Baltimore Sun, "I kissed him and he knew me and smiled ... That was Gino’s way of saying goodbye."

RIP

Colts' Darius Leonard Helps Flat Tire Victim ... 'Thank The Lord For Angels!'

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Forget Rookie of the Year ... Darius Leonard is now Good Samaritan of the Year -- 'cause the Colts star linebacker pulled off on the side of the road to help a woman change her tire!!

It all went down this past weekend ... when a woman clearly needed an assist with a busted wheel on her Buick.

Enter 23-year-old Leonard -- the AFC's 6"2', 234-pound Rookie Of The Year -- who got down on his hands and knees to help the woman out!!!

Leonard seemed to have no problem gettin' dirty ... he was crawling through some thick grass to make sure the tire was changed properly.

As for the woman ... she was grateful for the awesome gesture, saying to the linebacker, "Thank the lord for angels!"

It's just another good mark on Leonard's awesome resume ... the dude's done nothing but kill it since entering the NFL -- 'memba when he had 163 tackles and 7 sacks last season!!!

#BEAST

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Drops $718k for John Lennon's Piano!!!

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Colts owner Jim Irsay just added another sweet piece of history to his impressive collection ... a super famous John Lennon piano!!!

We're told Jim paid a whopping $718,750 for the piano Lennon used to write The Beatles' eighth studio album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." As we first reported ... the famous piano went up for auction earlier this month ... with Irsay rising above the rest.

The piano is one of several Lennon stored and used at his famous Kenwood house on St. George's Hill estate in Weybridge, England. Legend has it, this was his favorite piano, which itself is a piece of history ... it's a John Broadwood & Sons piano that dates back to 1872!!!

The piano also features a plaque that says, "On this piano was written: A Day in the Life, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Good Morning, Good morning, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite and Many others. John Lennon. 1971."

Jim's clearly ecstatic after hauling the relic piece.

He's a HUGE music memorabilia collector. Jim also owns the Yellow Cloud electric guitar Prince used in concerts from the late 80s. He also paid nearly $1 million for Jerry Garcia's one-of-a-kind "Tiger" guitar. And, he's also the proud owner of the Fender Stratocaster used by Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival back in 1965 ... after dropping another near $1 million.

We're told Irsay hopes to open a museum in Indianapolis for all the memorabilia he's scooped up over the years. Congrats!!!

Ex-Colts Star Robert Mathis Banned from Bars and Booze ... In DWI Case

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Ex-Colts superstar Robert Mathis is not allowed to have a single sip of alcohol for the next 365 days -- per the terms of his sentence in his driving while intoxicated case, TMZ Sports has learned.

The 6-time Pro Bowler -- currently a pass rush consultant for the Colts -- was pulled over in October 2017 after cops say he was driving the wrong way on a 1-way street around 12:09 AM while failing to use his turn signals.

During the stop, officers noticed "his speech was slow and thick and he appeared lost and confused" ... and they arrested him for driving while intoxicated.

Mathis' blood alcohol level was actually below the legal limit at .052 -- but he admitted he did take a sleeping pill in addition to the booze ... so officials hit him with the OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) charge anyway.

Mathis fought it in court the past year and a half ... but finally cut a deal with prosecutors Tuesday to close the case.

According to court docs, Mathis pled guilty to 1 misdemeanor count of OWI -- and in exchange got 1 year of probation and 60 days in jail ... with credit for 2 days served and the rest of the sentence suspended.

Translation -- if Mathis abides by the terms of his probation, he won't have to serve the remaining 58 days. But, if he screws up, he could be thrown behind bars.

As for the probation -- the big stipulation is NO BOOZE for 365 days. He's also ordered to stay away from bars.

Additionally, Mathis must pay court costs and fees and attend a victim impact panel.

He was facing 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Mathis was one of the best pass rushers of his generation ... finishing his 14-year career with 123 total sacks. He was named an All-Pro once and won Super Bowl XLI.

Darius Leonard Gunning To Top Car Gift ... Mom Will Get A House Too!!!

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LEAST I COULD DO
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Darius Leonard's mom better start prepping for the surprise now ... the Colts superstar says his gift giving won't stop with a Mercedes -- he's gunning to get her a new house too!!!

"That's the goal," the LB tells TMZ Sports ... "That's the ultimate goal."

ICYMI ... Leonard surprised his mom with a new set of wheels just a couple days ago -- and she went CRAZY after seeing the present ... doing full-sprint laps in the parking lot!!

ONLY THE BEST FOR MOM

The video was epic ... and Leonard says she reacted that way 'cause, "It's something that she's always wanted. She's always wanted a Mercedes-Benz."

In fact, Leonard tells us she's been driving it around town at dangerously slow speeds 'cause she doesn't want to get even a scratch on her new baby!!!

But, Darius says there's more in store for Momma ... he's telling us he's got plans to get her a new house next.

As for why ... Leonard obviously LOVES her -- but, he says she's a big reason he's such an athletic freak.

And, if his play on the gridiron this year didn't prove those genes ... he explained to us why he might've been in the NBA if his football career didn't get in the way!!!

MY FIRST LOVE
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Colts' Darius Leonard Mom Loses Her Mind ... Over New Car Gift!!!

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ONLY THE BEST FOR MOM

Forget Rookie of the Year ... Darius Leonard is now the Son of the Year -- 'cause the Colts superstar just bought his mom a new car ... AND SHE FREAKIN' LOVED IT!!!

Leonard surprised his mom with a new Mercedes over the weekend ... and her reaction to the gift was priceless -- doing a FULL SPRINT to the car, followed by celebratory laps in the parking lot.

It's an amazing video.

"Ain't [nothing] like putting a smile on your mother face!" Leonard wrote of the present ... "We've been through so much and now it's like we're on top of the world!"

It's been an incredible year for Darius ... the 2nd-round pick came outta nowhere to become one of the league's best linebackers -- winning Rookie of the Year honors this month.

But, things are about to get WAY better for Leonard and his mom soon ... dude is now just 3 years away from a FAT new contract.

Which means one thing ... we can't wait for her reaction to that new house gift in 2022!!!

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