The Indianapolis Colts have their customary day off today, but they were back on the practice field on Monday. The big news from practice was that, according to head coach Chuck Pagano, quarterback Andrew Luck was a full participant in practice - marking the first time that he has received that designation since before the Titans game.
What we don't know, of course, is how intense the practice was, as it could have simply been a light workout or walkthrough that wouldn't mean much regardless of whether Luck was a limited or full participant. At the same time, however, this is clearly to be viewed as a step in the right direction. Luck said that they split snaps the way that they normally would on a Monday between him and Matt Hasselbeck, and he added that he was able to do "definitely more" than he has been doing. "It was good," Luck said, regarding returning to being a full participant. "It's another step in the right direction. It's always fun to get out and practice on a beautiful day and prepare for a great team coming to town. It was good."
The big question is regarding this weekend, as Luck has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury and now the undefeated New England Patriots are coming to town. Considering the backstory with the rivalry, with the Patriots' recent domination of the Colts, and then the Deflategate mess that was triggered during the AFC Championship game between the two teams, it is a huge game, and it will be broadcast nationally on Sunday Night Football from Lucas Oil Stadium. In order for the Colts to have any chance in this Sunday's game, they will need their franchise quarterback on the field.
Will that happen? The expectation and hope is that Luck will play, but it's nothing certain. Head coach Chuck Pagano dodged the question by simply saying that Luck is "day to day" (the same distinction he's had all along with the injury). That's it. He wasn't getting in to the subject, which is nothing new from Pagano regarding Luck's injury or status. Other than that, it was the usual: "He looked good," "getting better," etc.
Luck also wouldn't give much information regarding his status, which again is nothing unusual. He was asked whether, if the Colts played that day, he would be able to go. He dodged that question by laughing and saying, "I don't have to play a game today, so I'm not going to answer." Then a bit later he was asked the question a different way: you're not really going to miss this game, are you? But again, Luck didn't take the bait. "I really hope not," he said. "I really, really hope not."
So, again, here's what we know so far: Andrew Luck hasn't played in the past two games, but the hope and expectation is that he will be ready for this week. He was a full participant in practice on Monday, but we don't know what that really means or how much work was done. And Chuck Pagano simply saying that Luck is day to day, while Andrew Luck is saying that he hopes he doesn't miss the game. Got it.
Ultimately, the team's actions will speak much louder than their words. Will Luck continue to be a full participant in practice this week? Will they enter the game with only two quarterbacks on their active roster? Those are clues that could give us insight into Luck's status, because we aren't likely to get anything definitive from Chuck Pagano or Andrew Luck.