The Indianapolis Colts have been anxiously awaiting news on the well-being of their star quarterback, Andrew Luck, throughout the offseason.
And on Friday, they finally got it. ESPN confirmed that Luck’s shoulder is “good to go, no limitations.”
The Colts better get Luck to throw lots of touchdowns because the defense is gutted with the loss of two of their safeties.
SBNation’s Stampede Blue Colts site reports that Clayton Geathers is only “80-85 percent” after an offseason knee procedure, while Malik Hooker is nowhere near back from ACL and MCL surgery, starting camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
GM Chris Ballard is running thru injuries w us: Clayton Geathers had a knee procedure and is at about 80-85 percent. Malik Hooker (ACL) will start camp on PUP. No surprise there. Getting closer. Early to mid-August is the target there. Marlon Mack is ?.
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 20, 2018
Hooker is still hopeful to return before the start of the regular season in September.
The Colts are being careful with Luck; he will be taking reps as the starting quarterback as camp begins, but they intend to take care of his arm more like a starting baseball pitcher, giving him plenty of rest time in between sessions where he’s throwing the ball under game conditions.
GM Chris Ballard said, “Andrew is an elite competitor and a pretty rare one. I think we’ve seen that during his career. I think it’s more of playing live football again. I don’t think there’s any mental restrictions. I think it’s more of getting the live reps verses live people. That’s the timing, getting use to moving in the pocket. All those are the things you have to get use to.”
Luck originally busted his shoulder in Week 3 back in the 2015 season; he missed all of the 2017 campaign after surgery following the 2016 season to repair the joint and allow him to be able to throw once more.
In the meantime, the Colts went 4-12, drafted sixth and will be able to protect Luck with offensive lineman Quenton Nelson, who NFL.com reports as “unlikely to face a long adjustment period;” in other words, he’s good out of the box.
Luck will also have Marlon Mack at 100 percent, taking heat off the passing game by balancing it with the run.
On the other hand, starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo is on the PUP list with a hamstring injury; as mentioned before, for every breakthrough, there’s a casualty.
Ballard, referring to Luck’s game readiness, said, “I still think we’re going to get questions until he lines up and plays again and then plays high-level football again. I can just see the panic the first time he throws an interception. I can see it. It’s just part of what we do. He understands it. He gets it. Know what’s been fun and neat is watching his growth as a man and who he is. I’ve watched his confidence grow.”
The Colts might end up being the Sunday Ticket must-watch team of the year; with a reloaded offense looking to score lots of points and a depleted defense, they might be a 38-35 shootout waiting to happen each week.
But the important thing is that Andrew Luck is healthy for the first time in three years. If he stays that way, 4-12 could become 12-4 faster than you can blink.
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