- Andrew Luck hasn’t played a game since undergoing shoulder surgery in January.
- Luck returned to practice two weeks ago, but the Colts are shutting him down from throwing after he experienced soreness and swelling.
- The Colts’ best option may be to shut Luck down completely this season.
As we head into Week 7 of the NFL regular season, it doesn’t appear Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is anywhere close to returning.
Luck had been sidelined all season after undergoing surgery to his throwing shoulder in January, but returned to practice two weeks ago.
According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, Luck got in four practices over two weeks, gradually ramping up his workload, until Wednesday, the Colts shut down Luck’s throwing after he began dealing with soreness.
Colts GM Chris Ballard said that Luck received a cortisone shot and will rehab until the swelling and soreness decreases.
“He’ll continue to rehab,” Ballard said. “We’re just going to shut down the throwing right now to get this thing calmed back down.”
Ballard said he has monitored Luck’s return to throwing, saying he looked good, but the soreness in his arm is too much.
While Ballard didn’t say Luck would be going on the Injured Reserve list “at this time,” which would likely end his season, it may be a possibility. At 2-4, the Colts are only one game out of the division lead, but seem unlikely to truly challenge the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, or Jacksonville Jaguars.
Furthermore, Luck has dealt with injuries over much of the past two seasons. After signing him to a five-year, $140 million contract, with $89 million guaranteed, the Colts need to be careful with their franchise quarterback. Playing behind a still-shaky offensive line in meaningless games could put Luck at risk of getting injured and setting the Colts even further back.
It’s unclear when Luck will return — the Colts wouldn’t put a timeline on his rehab — but it seems far off. Ballard said the goal right now is to get Luck practicing every day. If that takes two weeks, for example, then Colts would be at Week 9, while Luck would still not have any real snaps under his belt.
While it may be painful for the Colts to feel as though they’re simply wasting a season, getting a high draft pick in this draft and letting Luck return completely healthy next year may be the best option.