The Indianapolis Colts are getting dangerously close to having a fully healthy roster for the first time this season. Only two players did not fully participate in Thursday’s practice, the first of three practices this week. It is with a great sense of relief that I report that only Anthony Walker missed practice today.
ANDREW LUCK UPDATES
We reported earlier today that Andrew Luck would be taking a step forward in his progress. While it is very clear that he still is two to three weeks away from returning to the field, what we saw from him today is extraordinary progress from his “practice” last week.
If he continues to take big steps from here forward, I would speculate that he could take over starting duties on Week 8 on the road against the Bengals — that would be what I would consider the “earliest” likely return date but one that now is legitimately attainable. Absent a setback, I can’t imagine a scenario where he doesn’t take the field by Week 9 for a divisional contest in Houston against the Texans.
Nothing could possibly represent the progress he’s made and the reasons for this confidence better than seeing how far along he is from just one week ago.
It should be noted that Luck is intentionally not putting a lot of zip on the ball. Regardless, 40 and 50 yard throws on the sideline is getting a lot closer to where Luck needs to be. Additionally, just because he is not throwing with velocity doesn’t mean that Luck couldn’t force himself to do so. This is all a part of the gradual progress and diligence to taking the rehabilitation and strengthening process slow that the team committed to long ago.
One of the best signs of progress for Luck compared to last week actually can be found in the following photo.
This is a guy with a throwing form more consistent with someone who is comfortable reaching back and letting passes fly. Even Luck acknowledged that he now has a good idea of what the finish line is at this point. Naturally he won’t share that with us, but we’re starting to get a legitimate reason to feel our wait is near its end.
One other thing that I found particularly interesting is that while Luck is wearing a sleeve on his arm, it isn’t simply for compression. The sleeve generates readings that include his range of motion and velocity that doctors and training staff can monitor. Luck has chosen to not know those readings himself. but his doctors will be able to gradually clear him for increased activity based upon these readings. One is left to wonder if last week’s readings were positive and helped lead to a more aggressive practice this week.
COLTS INJURY REPORT
Look at that beauty. The Indianapolis Colts will have all but three players for their divisional opener in Tennessee. Jack Doyle will return, Chester Rogers is on track to take the field for the first time this season, and rookie corners Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston also were full participants.
Expect the injury report to grow tomorrow as some players will earn rest days (tomorrow is like a Thursday). Otherwise, absent any setbacks, the only starters who will not be on the field against the Titans will be Andrew Luck and Clayton Geathers.