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Posts tagged with "Andrew Luck"

INDIANAPOLIS – The internet can be a breeding ground for theories that run the gamut, whether the subject is who killed John F. Kennedy or whether there really is life in other corners of the universe.

And, now, here comes another: Indianapolis Coltsquarterback Andrew Luck, if deemed ready to play by doctors and coaches, should sit out the rest of 2017.

No, social media, message boards and reader emails aren’t a fair depiction of fan sentiment. But they’re certainly representative of at least a segment of Colts fans. And they suggest a fair number of people — including Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd — have embraced this as something the Colts should absolutely do.

Luck on Wednesday practiced for the first time in 2017 after offseason shoulder surgery and appears to be slowly approaching a point where returning to action will be a consideration. He’s not there yet. And we don’t know when he’ll get there.

But when he does, you can rest assured Luck has every intention of playing and the Colts have every intention of playing him.

When asked Wednesday, in his first interview since late July, whether he is certain he will play in 2017, Luck unflinchingly replied, “Oh, yeah,” as if he were puzzled by why the question would even be asked.

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New England’s ex-third-stringer has risen to staring quarterback for the Colts.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

On the day of the NFL’s cutdown deadline and only one year after drafting him in the third round, the New England Patriots traded third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. The trade was a surprising one but hailed as a win-win situation for both teams.

Dorsett would add depth to the Patriots’ depleted receiver depth chart, while Brissett would do the same for the Colts’ quarterback position. Two weeks later, the situation has changed drastically for the 23-year old passer. With Pro Bowler Andrew Luck still dealing with injuries, Scott Tolzien took over as Indianapolis’ starter in week one.

However, Tolzien delivered a forgettable performance and was ultimately replaced by Brissett late in the game. Now, it seems as if he has been replaced at the start of the game as well. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the ex-Patriot will start Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals:

Sources: The #Colts are planning on starting QB Jacoby Brissett on Sunday vs. #AZCardinals. Former starter Scott Tolzien goes to the bench.

After Tolzien completed only 9 of 18 pass attempts for a mere 128 yards and two interceptions – both of which were returned for touchdowns –, the writing was on the wall. Consequently, Brissett now appears to get the next chance to prove himself a capable starting quarterback in the NFL after starting two games during his 2016 rookie year with the Patriots.

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INDIANAPOLIS — As expected, the Indianapolis Colts are planning to move franchise quarterback Andrew Luck to the active roster before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

First-year General Manager Chris Ballard said as much prior to Thursday night’s preseason finale.

“All indications are we’re going to take Andrew off PUP,” Ballard told Colts radio host Bob Lamey on the pregame show.

The move will allow Luck to practice with the team for the first time in eight months; if he remained on the physically unable to perform list to start the regular season, he’d be required to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

It remains a long shot Luck is able to ready himself in just four practices for the team’s Sept. 10 regular season opener in Los Angeles.

Colts owner Jim Irsay hopped on the Fox59 broadcast of Thursday’s game and offered this when asked about how long it will take Luck to return to his previous form:

“It’s a great question,” Irsay said. “It’s been said before by one of the greatest athletes and competitors who’ve played any sport – the quote was this: ‘These games, all games, are played on a four-inch field between your ears.’ That’s where it’s at. You have to be able to deal with this, not only physically but mentally. I have no doubt that Andrew Luck, the person that is, he’s going to come out of this thing not just how he was but a better quarterback. When is the question. That timetable is more on the football Gods and Andrew’s gut feeling on how he’s feeling.”

For the second straight day, when the topic of Luck’s return was broached, Irsay made no mention of Week 1.

Pressed about it earlier this week, coach Chuck Pagano acknowledged it will take Luck some time to get himself in game shape.

“We’re not going to know until we get him out here,” Pagano said. “When the doctors say he’s ready and he’s 100 percent and he can start practicing, then we’ll have that answer.”

Takeaways from Thursday’s preseason game, a 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals

1. No shuffling at QB

All signs point to Scott Tolzien, and not Stephen Morris, being the guy at quarterback come Week 1 barring a miracle return to the fold by Andrew Luck (don’t bet on it). Tolzien went 4-for-5 for 24 yards in two series worth of work before retiring for the night. Morris went 2-for-5 for 51 yards in the Colts’ 7-6 victory.

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Sep 18, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The status of Andrew Luck’s shoulder and his overall health have the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL waiting.

If it were up to Andrew Luck, I have no doubt that he would already be launching the ball around in preparation of the 2017 season for the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, shoulder repairs take time no matter how determined you are.

What is the status of Andrew Luck? When will Andrew Luck be ready to play? Will Andrew Luck be the same?

Nobody asks these questions more than the man, himself. Only Luck knows how his shoulder truly feels. Even then, optimism, antagonism, pain, relief, depression, hope, fear, and confidence all play a part in confusing matters. One of the toughest things to deal with is the uncertainty, and it can be quite the roller coaster of emotions.

The truth of the matter is that if someone offers an answer, they likely don’t know what they are talking about. Without knowing the exact details, no one really can know. Even then, we all heal differently. Our minds play a tremendous role. The rehabilitation process is a fine line—you can push too hard, but you can not push hard enough also.

All of these questions will be answered in time. They can be assisted by hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, but time is the key. How much time? Well, doctors and therapists may offer an educated idea, but every shoulder is different. Every injury is different. There are so many factors involved that again, if someone offers an answer…well, you know where I’m headed.

You may be asking yourself: What could a guy that calls himself Backwoods possibly know about anything? Another good question and, in most cases, I would refrain from answering. In this case, however, I am more qualified than most. I have been there, and beyond, five times over.

I’ve had success, and also had failure. I have had success, followed by failure. I have had the misfortune of learning terms like multi-directional instability, torn labrum, subluxation, slap tear, recurring, dislocation, capsular shift, capsular shrinkage, and a plethora of others that I was surprised even the doctors could pronounce.

Truthfully, as outsiders all we really know is that he did indeed have shoulder surgery back in January. I have not found any details on the injury or the type of repair done. To me this is extremely concerning. If it were a simple rotator cuff repair done arthroscopically, why not say so? Those are quite common, minimally invasive, and have very high success rates. Obviously it was more than that.

The fear is in not knowing. Terms like “outpatient surgery” and “injury that lingered” might make it sound not so bad. But those terms offer very little insight. When I hear those terms, I hear:

  1. He did not stay overnight in the hospital, and
  2. That it has been a recurring issue.

With a recurring issue, the possibility of extensive damage is possible. Simply put, if you have damage inside your shoulder and continue to push it, it can cause more damage.

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INDIANAPOLIS — They’re departing, in some fashion, one by one.

Robert Mathis (retired). D’Qwell Jackson (released).

And the list of those leaving the Indianapolis Colts this offseason could continue to grow with free agency beckoning for both veteran safety Mike Adams and linebacker Erik Walden.

The Colts have to get younger and better on defense. There’s no denying that. But they’re also in a transition period in the leadership department. The departure of some of those players will leave a void in the Colts’ locker room. You can add finding a vocal leader to a long offseason list that already features improvements on the defensive line, linebacker and in the secondary for Indianapolis.

Quarterback Andrew Luck has been and will continue to be the Colts’ best player. But ask anybody inside the locker room and they’ll tell you Mathis was the backbone and emotional leader of the team. He was the motivator.

Jackson, despite his four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, was looked up to by so many of the Colts’ young players because, while he didn’t possess the same burst he had several years ago, his knowledge of the game was something many turned to him for. Coach Chuck Pagano often looked at Adams as another coach on the field. Adams also brought the ability to relate with so many of his teammates because he was undrafted but went on to play in the Super Bowl and make back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances.

The talent level is there on offense, but it’s uncertain who the vocal leader will be. As I noted in a mailbag answer Jan. 17, Luck doesn’t display the same demanding personality we’ve seen from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Luck is more of a lead-by-example player, and, with the likes of Mathis, Jackson and Reggie Wayne around to do the talking, didn’t need to be as vocal. It’s uncertain if Luck can suddenly project that type of personality as he heads into his sixth NFL season. Make no mistake, though: His teammates will listen when he speaks.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Just when it seemed as if the Jacksonville Jaguars had upset theIndianapolis Colts again, quarterback Andrew Luck made the most of the game’s final seconds to end a disappointing season on an upbeat note.

Luck’s 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle with nine seconds remaining gave the Colts a 24-20 victory and an 8-8 finish to an inconsistent season on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“When you’ve got Andrew back there, you’ve got a shot,” said Doyle, who triumphantly spiked the football after his decisive catch while sitting in the end zone.

The Jaguars (3-13) had won the previous two meetings between the AFC South rals, and thought they had pulled out another victory on Jason Myers’ 41-yard field goal with 1:33 remaining.

But that was ample time for Luck. Although out of timeouts, the no-huddle Colts drove 75 yards in eight plays and took 1:24 off the clock. Luck completed all six of his passes on the drive for 70 yards.

“It felt good to get that touchdown at that moment,” said Luck, who completed 24 of 41 passes for 321 yards with two scores and one interception. “There were times earlier this year that we didn’t finish games when we had the chance in the two-minute drill or four-minute drill. So to get that one was very joyous and maybe released a little frustration.”

The comeback win from an early 17-0 deficit sent Colts fans home happy, but head coach Chuck Pagano’s team is missing the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 1997 and 1998. Speculation has centered on whether owner Jim Irsay will stick with Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson for next season.

Pagano avoided answering a question about his future by repeating “Happy new year,” discussing family members in attendance and gushing about how outside linebacker Robert Mathis ended his 14-year career with a strip sack to finish with a franchise-record 123 regular-season sacks.

The Jaguars were trying to win their second consecutive game since head coach Gus Bradley was fired and replaced by interim coach Doug Marrone.

“We talked to the players about learning how not to lose first, before learning how to win,” Marrone said.

An argument could be made that conservative playcalling near the end contributed to the Jaguars’ demise.

Reserve linebacker Dan Skuta blocked a Pat McAfee punt to give the Jaguars the ball at the Colts’ 30 with the score tied at 17 and 1:54 remaining. The Colts burned their timeouts after each of the next three plays, and the Jaguars were content to run the football three times before Myers kicked the go-ahead field goal.

Just 21 seconds elapsed, whereas gaining a first down on a third-and-3 play would have enabled the Jaguars to run the clock down before attempting a potential game-winning field goal.

“It is one of those situations where we got into a four-minute mode and tried to get them to use all their timeouts, which they did,” Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said.

The Jaguars rushed for 182 yards on 30 carries, but running back Corey Grant was stuffed for no gain on that third-and-3 rush.

“I think they knew that we were going to run the ball,” Grant said, “and they kind of stacked that side.”

Pagano admitted the Colts crowded the defensive box in anticipation of a run.

“Great job by the ‘D’ getting the stop there and holding them to three points,” Pagano said. “It was critical.”

The Colts rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns. Reserve running back Robert Turbin scored on a 7-yard run to trim the deficit to 17-10. Luck connected with tight end Dwayne Allen on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

It was a dramatic turnaround from the first half, when the Colts had four three-and-out possessions in the opening quarter.

Myers kicked a 47-yard field goal, Bortles threw a 14-yard TD pass to Ken Koyack and Grant scored on a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 with 5:45 remaining in the second quarter.

“A lot of bad happened in the first half,” Luck said.

When the Colts had a chance to score in the second quarter, kicker Adam Vinatieri‘s 48-yard field goal attempt clanked off the right upright. The miss cost him a $500,000 contract incentive.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas,” said Jaguars defensive end Ricky Fowler Jr., who contributed a 1/2 sack to his team’s total of four. “Coach Marrone gave us a good speech at halftime. He was like, ‘You’re either the hunter or going to be hunted.’ At the end of the day, we have to step on their throats. You can’t hold back when we have a lead and the momentum like that.”

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INDIANAPOLIS – At some point the Indianapolis Colts‘ fortunes with quarterback Andrew Luck will run out. And when they do, the Colts will have to look in the mirror because they’ll only have themselves to blame for Luck getting injured.

The owner, the front office, the coaching staff and the players have talked year after year about needing to do a better job of protecting their $140 million invest.

But year after year Luck has continued to take pounding after pounding. That why it wasn’t surprising not to see Luck on the practice field Wednesday as the Colts prepare for Sunday’s game at Minnesota. He’s dealing with right shoulder and elbow injuries. Luck said he “absolutely” expects to play against the Vikings.

The Colts – and Luck – were fortunate with his health during his first three seasons. He took every meaningful snap in every meaningful game during that span. Now his body is starting to break down from the constant pounding.

Since entering the NFL in 2012, Luck has been hit 456 times, which is the third most in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He has been blitzed 947 times, which is the second most in that period despite missing 10 games.

“He’s a big, tough, strong physical guy,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “We don’t ever want to get him hit. We have to be better, we know that. We can’t afford to keep downing the road.”

I asked Luck how long he can withstand taking the hits and in typical Luck fashion, he brushed the issue aside.

“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I don’t wonder about it. I go out there and play football.”

The Colts have tried to improve their offensive line. But the talent has continued to fail them. General manager Ryan Grigson used half of his eight draft picks on offensive linemen.

What has that gotten Luck this season?

A concussion against Tennessee in Week 11 and now an injured right elbow and shoulder from getting hit 13 times against Houston last weekend.

“He got whacked around pretty good,’’ Pagano said.

It’s hard to get any continuity on the offensive line when the unit is constantly shuffling from injuries and poor play. Luck has started behind 32 different offensive lines since entering the league.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are in familiar territory heading into Week 13 as they try to come from behind to win the AFC South. They were in the same position at this time last year.

The biggest difference between now and then?

He stands 6-foot-4, weighs 240 pounds and he’s the pulse of the entire Indianapolis Colts organization. Confidence exudes at a level it doesn’t reach when Andrew Luck is not playing because he’s proven over and over again that he will attempt to overcome any obstacle no matter the deficit.

While his teammates tried to win the division to clinch a playoff spot last season, Luck was out nursing his lacerated kidney. The Colts were eliminated from making the playoffs in the final week of the 2015 season.

“He’s a guy that breathes football,” receiver T.Y. Hilton said. “You could tell it hurt him by looking in his eye. He just wanted to be around us, make sure we were comfortable.”

As long as he’s cleared from his concussion, Luck will go from being on the sideline to on the field to try to do what Hasslebeck, Charlie Whitehurst, Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley couldn’t do late last season in quarterbacking the Colts to the playoffs.

The Houston Texans have a game lead over the Colts, but they have the under-performing Brock Osweiler at quarterback. The Tennessee Titans, led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, have a half-game lead over Indianapolis, but the Colts own the tiebreaker over them because they swept the season series.

“I think the thing with Andrew is, there’s just the thought that we’re never ever out of anything,” punter Pat McAfee said. “Right now, I think you go around and ask every man on this team and they’ll say we can go on a run. That’s because we have that much faith in No. 12. In this league, if you have a good quarterback, you have a chance and we have a great one.”

Luck is the Colts’ best — and you can argue only — hope to pass Houston and Tennessee in the division. You can’t count on their defense to perform on a game-to-game basis. The Colts proved that without Luck, scoring was a challenge –including two failed fourth down attempts inside the five-yard line — in their 28-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving.

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