Let’s check in with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay on his quarterback Andrew Luck.
“We really feel that he’s going to be completely healed for the season and he’s going to have a great season.,” Irsay said, according to Colts.com.
What’s notable about that? That quote was from March. Of 2017.
Here we are, 14 months after Luck’s right shoulder surgery, and he’s still not throwing a football. By now the football world is wondering when (if?) that’s going to happen, but as usual, the Colts aren’t concerned.
Colts coach Frank Reich not worried
It’s almost Memorial Day and Luck hasn’t thrown a regular football yet, but the Colts don’t have any concern about where Luck is in his rehab.
“No,” Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday, according to the team’s site. “I’m not worried at all.”
Of course, the Colts had optimism last year and Luck didn’t end up playing in a game. Everything the team has said about making sure every step of the rehab process is painstakingly completed before moving on makes sense. Another setback would be horrible.
But it’s also alarming that Luck hasn’t thrown a football yet. And the Colts’ ceaseless optimism about his return becomes hollow after a while.
Colts hopeful Luck is ready by training camp
Luck has talked about being ready for training camp, and the Colts seem comfortable if that’s the timetable. If Luck starts throwing a normal football sometime in July — he has reportedly thrown smaller footballs and weighted balls as part of his rehab — that gives him more than a month before the regular season to get his arm ready.
“I’m completely comfortable with him throwing when he’s ready, when the doctors say he’s ready,’’ Reich said, according to Colts.com. “He’s totally engaged in every aspect of what we’re doing mentally. The physical part for a guy like him, you’ve got to work at it, but I’m not worried about that.
“That’s plenty of time.”
Reich is a former NFL quarterback. While it’s hard to know for sure how long it would take a quarterback to get up to optimal arm strength after more than a year off from throwing, we’ll take Reich’s word that the six or so weeks of training camp would be enough.
Still in wait-and-see mode
But until Luck throws, there will be concern around the league. He’s one of the NFL’s brightest stars and it’s understandable why his glacial progress in rehab is a constant story.
Perhaps Luck will be throwing as usual at training camp, or even before, and look better than ever. But we get to August and Luck is still waiting to throw a football, that is probably the time to panic.
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