Colts would love to have Andrew Luck return but aren’t counting on it

The Colts are looking for a quarterback yet again. Philip Rivers retired, and Jacoby Brissett is a free agent.

The team will have its fifth opening day starter in five years in 2021.

Andrew Luck’s surprising retirement before the 2019 season left them with one-year starters in Brissett and then Rivers the past two seasons. So would Luck, who is only 31 years old, consider coming out of retirement?

The Colts should at least inquire.

“It kind of stands where it stands: Andrew’s retired,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday, via Mike Chappell of FOX 59.

But the Colts would welcome Luck back with open arms if he decided to return.

“He knows we would love to have him back,’’ Irsay said. “But only he can answer that question deep in his heart and his soul: ‘Hey, do I really want to come back and be a quarterback for the Colts again in the NFL?’ It’s easy for us. He knows how much we’d love to have him be our quarterback.

“I don’t really know if we’ll see that. I think he’s happy. He’s raising his daughter. He has a wonderful family. He’s a great Colt. He knows that he can come back anytime he wants, but at the same time, we respect he’s made that decision.’’

Irsay sounds as if the Colts, with a roster ready to win now, would prefer a veteran. That could mean Matthew Stafford, whom the Lions will trade this offseason.

Stafford has played 12 years but is only 32, turning 33 next month, so he could be a team’s short- and long-term answer at the position.

“Our belief is we’re close,’’ Irsay said. “We have a tremendous nucleus of players that are capable of competing for the Super Bowl very soon. Ideally, if you can get someone to come in this year and several years after who is ready, it gives you your best opportunity, and you don’t have to have as much of a maturation aspect of seeing them develop and get to that level that they need to get to and get to the Super Bowl and win it.

“We’ll just have to see where opportunity pushes us. We’d love to be able to get a great, young quarterback, and obviously there are some out there that have been talked about coming out in this draft.’’