Jack Doyle turned a flier from his hometown team into two Pro Bowls over nine strong, reliable seasons. On Monday, he announced his retirement, bringing to a close a career in which he played every one of his 131 games for the Colts.
"It's rare when a player has the opportunity to play for his hometown team, thus we are extremely thankful for the nine outstanding seasons Jack spent with the Colts, the team he grew up cheering for," Colts Owner & CEO Jim Irsay said. "Having said that, Jack not only represented himself and his family with class, but represented our entire organization and the community with the utmost professionalism. We applaud the impact Jack and his wife, Casie, made in our community during his playing career and we know that commitment will not waver moving forward. Simply put, Jack was one of the most well-liked players in our locker room. We'll miss his presence in our building and watching him perform on Sundays, but we congratulate him on a fantastic career."
In Colts franchise history, the Cathedral High School alum ranks 14th in receptions (295), 24th in yards (2,729) and 13th in receiving touchdowns (24). He's one of 53 players in franchise history to represent the Colts in multiple Pro Bowls; Doyle and Hall of Famer John Mackey are the only tight ends to reach two or more Pro Bowls with the Colts.
Doyle also added 100 yards on 14 receptions with one touchdown in six playoff games for the Colts.
"After I was hired by the Colts in 2017, one of the first roster moves we made was re-signing Jack Doyle," general manager Chris Ballard said. "It was very apparent what type of player and leader he was and the impact he made as a teammate. He is a player we wanted our rookies to emulate. Jack's love for the game was strong. You could sense that in every area from practice, to the weight room, to game days."
Few, if any, Hoosiers have made as great of an impact for the Colts on Sundays. Among Indiana natives to play for the Colts after the franchise moved to Indianapolis, Doyle ranks first in games played, first in receptions, first in receiving touchdowns and second in receiving yards (behind tight end Ken Dilger).
But Doyle's impact on the Colts extended well beyond his pass-catching skills. The 6-foot-6, 262 pound Doyle established himself as one of the NFL's best run blocking tight ends over his career, and in 2021 played a significant role in Jonathan Taylor's remarkable 1,811-yard season. Doyle earned the second-highest Pro Football Focus run blocking grade among tight ends in 2021.
"I call him Mr. Reliable," Taylor said last season. "Jack is going to always be where he needs to be and execute what he needs to execute."
Not bad for a former undrafted free agent.
Doyle's pro career started in the spring of 2013 with the Tennessee Titans, who brought him in as an undrafted free agent after he wrapped up his college career at Western Kentucky. The Colts claimed Doyle on waivers after the Titans waived him on cut-down day in 2013, and after he arrived back in Indianapolis he quickly established himself on offense and special teams.
Doyle earned his first trip to to the Pro Bowl in 2017, when his 80 catches ranked second among tight ends (three receptions behind Kansas City's Travis Kelce). He went back in 2019; from 2016-2019, Doyle averaged 52 catches, 492 yards and four touchdowns per season.
That Doyle consistently found a place in the Colts' offense was no small feat, too. Think of all the shifts that happened since he joined the team in 2013: The high-flying early days of Andrew Luck's career, to a carousel of quarterbacks with Luck banged up, to the Reich era – which has seen four different starting quarterbacks in four years. He was a sturdy bridge between eras, quarterbacks and schemes.
"Jack is a consummate pro in every sense, and it was a privilege to serve as his coach," head coach Frank Reich said. "His contributions on the field are obvious, but he made just as much of an impact off the field. He was a leader, a team captain, and one of the hardest workers at practice and in the film room.
"We had ultimate trust in Jack to perform and execute at the highest level in any situation both offensively and on special teams. He was one of our most dependable players. Jack's value to this organization will be hard to replace. I congratulate him on a spectacular career and I wish him the best along with his wife, Casie, and his sons, Ronan and Henry."
Doyle's impact on Indianapolis extended well beyond his play on the field, too. Over the last two years, Doyle partnered Dayspring Center, a family emergency center in Indianapolis, for Jack Doyle's All-Star Bowl to help homeless families with children. In 2018, Doyle hosted a birthday party for homeless youth from Dayspring Center, and that year he and his wife established the Jack and Casie Doyle Tuition Assistance Grant at Cathedral High School to provide half scholarships for a pair of incoming freshmen to the school.
Doyle participated in the Colts Community Ticket Block and also donated tickets to the Catholic Youth Organization. He visited patients at Riley Hospital and supported Riley through the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative in 2021. He also participated on the Colts Community Ticket Block and donated tickets to the Catholic Youth Organization.
Doyle, too, was named the Colts' Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2018.