In case you haven't heard, there has been talk recently about whether Andrew Luck is dealing with an injury - supposedly a rib injury that has been kept hidden so far.
At this point it's completely speculation, but there are reasons to think it might have some truth to it. There was, of course, the sideline video CBS caught of Luck appearing to wince when patted in the chest (I'm not sure we can read much into that, however). And there are, reportedly, those around the NFL who wonder if Luck is playing hurt:
Many players, assistant coaches and front office execs think Luck is hurt.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 27, 2015
Also, WTHR's Bob Kravitz noted that Luck looked pretty beat up after the game on Sunday:
I don't know if Andrew Luck is hurt, but he was really laboring to dress after the game. Pretty beat up already.
— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) September 28, 2015
All of that, along with his struggles on the field, have led many fans to wonder: is the Colts' franchise player dealing with some sort of injury? After all, he plays behind a poor offensive line and takes a lot of hits. Luck was asked about it on Monday, but he brushed it off as just normal bruises as a result of playing football.
"Football is a physical game," Luck said. "We all know that. You wake up Monday morning or Sunday night after the game on the plane ride home, you feel bumps and bruises. Some games less physical than others, and that's sort of the nature of it. This past one certainly was physical. There are a bunch of guys I'm sure in both training rooms recovering from stuff, but for me it's sort of business as usual. Go out there, get over those bumps and bruises, those sort of nicks and get out there and play."
Luck added that he doesn't think he will end up on the injury report this week, showing that he intends to be a full participant in practice and that he is ok. And that's what Luck tried to convey in his press conference: he's beat up, but nothing more than normal after a physical NFL game.
Of course, we also must note this: there is zero way that Luck would ever admit to being hurt. He just wouldn't do it. Whether it's about not complaining, not making excuses, or simply not giving any advantage to opponents, you won't find Luck ever admitting an injury - unless, of course, it lands him on the injury report. He doesn't expect that to happen, and so unless it does, I'm not sure we're going to get confirmation of any injury.
Is Andrew Luck playing hurt? Maybe. But we really have no way of knowing, and unless it lands him on the injury report for missing practice, I'm not sure we're going to find out the real answer, either.