Andrew Luck's recovery? 'Status quo'
Ten days shy of the morning players report to training camp to kick off the 2017 season, the Indianapolis Colts’ $140 million question remains unanswered.
Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck’s status remains uncertain heading into the final week of the offseason, his recovery “status quo,” according to a league source. That doesn’t mean he’ll be throwing when the Colts take the field for their first training camp practice in two Sundays at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Then again, that doesn't mean he won't.
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Luck underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder in mid-January. A six-to-nine-month recovery, which experts on the procedure predicted, could place him back in the fold just as training camp commences July 30. As recently as late June, Luck said that he was "absolutely approaching" the throwing portion of his rehab, but had not yet started throwing. Other than coaching from the sidelines, he did not participate in organized team activities or minicamp.
“Status quo” indicates that there haven’t been any setbacks in Luck’s recovery.
Since the very start, the Colts have resisted divulging any sort of timetable or expectation on their star QB. He’s simply too valuable, his recovery too vital to rush back before the shoulder is fully healed. Whenever that happens remains to be seen.
“No pressure on Andrew, none,” first-year general manager Chris Ballard said in late April. “I want to do what’s right for Andrew Luck and his career. We’re not going to force Andrew Luck to put a timetable on him and say, ‘You have to be back by this time.’
“This is a team game, “and it’s our job to put enough around him on the field and find a way to get it done when he gets back in the mix. And if he’s not ready right away, then we’ll keep moving forward. But we’re not going to put a timetable or force him.”
Owner Jim Irsay has been on the record indicating he expects Luck to be on the field for the team’s regular season opener on Sept. 10.
As the team wrapped up minicamp in June, Luck admitted that he couldn’t predict whether he’d be on the field when training camp started.
“If I’m ready for it, then great,” he said then. “If I’m not, then that’s the way it is. I’m certainly hopeful for it. In my mind all I can do — and I truly feel this way — with this rehab, with my shoulder, I can’t look five months down the road, three months down the road, a week down the road. To me, it’s about the next rehab session, the next day. That’s where my focus is and that’s where I think it needs to be to truly get back to 100 percent.”
If Luck does return to the fold in early August, expect his reps to be closely monitored, and he’ll likely miss a handful of practices as he works his arm back in shape.
One benefit the Colts have is time. The team will have six weeks from the start of training camp before their regular season opener, Sept. 10 in Los Angeles against the Rams.
“Am I hopeful? Am I praying?” coach Chuck Pagano said in June when asked if Luck would be back for the start of training camp. “Yeah. So is everybody. But there really is no timetable on it.”
Call IndyStar reporter Zak Keefer at (317) 444-6134. Follow him on Twitter: @zkeefer.
Follow IndyStar reporter Stephen Holder on Twitter: @HolderStephen.