Andrew Luck Watch continues in Indianapolis. Only it’s far from good news — but not terrible news — for the veteran quarterback.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard confirmed what we’ve all known for awhile now: Luck will not play in the season opener (Sept. 10 vs. Los Angeles Rams) as he continues to rehab following shoulder surgery some seven months ago.
Scott Tolzien will get the start with former New England Patriot’s third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett backing him up.
In fact, there’s no guarantee exactly when Luck will eventually return to the lineup, which isn’t heartwarming in the slightest.
“Still no timetable,” Ballard said of Luck’s return to practice. “He’s in the training phase right now. He’s done excellent in his rehab, and we’re still continuing to take it week to week.”
With the 2017 season just days away, Colts faithful are left reeling at the status and well-being of their franchise quarterback some seven months after Luck had surgery on his right throwing shoulder.
Luck was taken off the physically unable to perform list last week, which means that he won’t have to miss the first six weeks of the season. But the question is: How long until, realistically, Luck makes his return to the practice field and the line-up?
But perhaps the biggest question surrounds Luck returning to practice. Last week, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said that he’d yet to see Luck throw the ball in practice, which prompted a ton of head scratching and suspicion.
According to Ballard, the biggest reason that Luck hasn’t returned to practice yet is because they want him to return to practice full-time.
“I think we need to think about this with every player. Every player needs to practice,” Ballard said. “[They] need to be with their teammates, they need to be able to practice, and Andrew is going to need the same thing. That came in a lot with the decision of the PUP because, when he is back, we want to incorporate him back into practice.
“I think Andrew will tell you, ‘I want to get back to where I can practice every day, I can throw to our receivers every day, I can feel the pocket, I can feel the pressure every day,’” Ballard continued. “We want to get back to that point. That’s why I’m being extra conservative here to where I want to make sure when we get Andrew back, he can practice every day. It’ll be a little bit of a process to get him to that. But we will. We don’t want to jeopardize for the short term here over the long haul. Andrew is a young player still, and we have to have a long-term view of where we’re going.
Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the long term future. While Luck continues to battle rehabbing that right shoulder, there’s definitely a clamoring for Luck’s return — assuredly by fans, teammate, and even Luck himself.
“Any time you’re hurt, as a player you’re part of the team but you’re not because you’re not going through practice, you’re not doing the daily activities with them,” Ballard said. “That’s hard. When you’re a competitor — and he is a rare competitor; you’ve seen it — that’s hard for guys. But we visited [Sunday] for a long time, and he is in a really good place right now.”
Let’s hope, for Luck’s case, that’s true.