Andrew Frackin’ Luck
Well, the next step in Andrew Luck’s return from off-season shoulder surgery finally is in the books. After trying to weed through dozens of rumors, numerous potential time frames, and even dealing with some who questioned whether he would or even should play football this season, Andrew Luck has returned to practice with his teammates.
We learned a great deal about where Luck currently is and maybe a bit more about what to expect as he moves forward. Not that this is any surprise but it still will be anywhere between two and four weeks, most likely, until there is any hope that Luck will take the field in a football game.
Okay, so before we get to what you NEED to know. Here is what I know you have desperately NEEDED to see. Enjoy.
Okay, sure, he’s not rifling 40-yard bombs and this is just the beginning but there is your franchise quarterback. He is throwing a football, donning a jersey, and even made passes to receivers today for the first time.
Here is what we learned:
- Andrew Luck dispelled any rumors suggesting that he is not happy in Indianapolis, stating that they are completely false.
- We learned that today was the first time that Andrew Luck passed to his teammates, but not the first time he has thrown a football since his surgery.
- Andrew Luck definitively said that he will play this season.
- He also said that the type of labral tear that he experienced has a longer healing process than some, something we’ve been left to speculate.
- He indicated that he has no reason to believe that he has had any setbacks.
- The next step in his progress is to build strength and get back to where he can make NFL level throws.
It is important to note that Luck will not practice with the team tomorrow. He will take tomorrow to go through rehab and work with the training staff. He will return to practice on Friday.
As with before, Luck insisted that there is not a specific timetable. We’ll have to patiently wait and to see how quickly his shoulder and arm strength progress. Expect to receive reports that he is practicing fully and rifling passes at full velocity for a full week of practice before he takes the field.
Marlon Mack, Anthony Walker, Chris Milton, and Ryan Kelly on pace to return
While the Indianapolis Colts put out a lengthy injury report today, there were some new faces back practicing fully that will have a positive impact as the team prepares to face the 49ers. The most important piece that the Colts will get back this weekend, which already has been confirmed by head coach Chuck Pagano, is second-year center Ryan Kelly. The timing for his return couldn’t be any better after undrafted rookie center Deyshawn Bond was placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Rookie running back Marlon Mack practiced in a limited capacity last week, trying to return from a shoulder injury he suffered against the Cardinals. This week he starts as a full practice participant and, barring any setbacks, will make his return to the field on Sunday. Matt Danely told us yesterday that his return is important for the team’s offense.
Rookie inside linebacker Anthony Walker also was a full participant in practice today, putting him in good position for a return this weekend. This also coincides with veteran Sean Spence’s release on Monday. It will help to get Walker back as he needs valuable reps to get better. He also is one of the more athletic linebackers on the team.
Depth cornerback Chris Milton returned to practice today as a full participant. With the return of Vontae Davis last week, this could give Chris Ballard and the coaching staff some leeway. Don’t be surprised to see additional roster adjustments in the secondary in the near-term — so long as this current group can stay healthy.
Jack Doyle, Quincy Wilson, and Rashaan Melvin all limited today
Jack Doyle entered the week in the concussion protocol. It is encouraging that he was a limited participant today and makes it rather likely that he will be able to play this weekend. It would take a setback or the appearance of concussion symptoms throughout the week to keep him out of the game.
Rashaan Melvin is a new addition to the injury report this week. It is encouraging that he is able to start in at least a limited capacity. That said, he’s listed as having hamstring and ankle issues. After a very strong start to the season, Indianapolis needs him to recover throughout the week, so his status is worth monitoring.
Rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson also returned to the practice field after sitting out practice all of last week. He is probably still squarely in the questionable category this week. Again, the Colts have held out players who didn’t have a full week of full participation in practice when those players missed full weeks of practice due to an injury. Tomorrow may hold the key for his chances.
Chester Rogers, Matthias Farley, and Nate Hairston DNP
Second-year receiver Chester Rogers did not practice again today and is doubtful to return this weekend. A nagging hamstring injury, that he recently re-injured when he attempted to come back, has kept him out of every game this season. This is unfortunate as the Colts wide receivers could use some of the athleticism he showed in his rookie season.
Safety Matthias Farley sat out of practice on Friday last week with a quadriceps injury. At this point, his status is worth monitoring but unless his quad injury got worse against the Seahawks, the team probably is just being cautious and allowing him a day or two to rest.
Another new addition to the injury report is rookie nickel corner Nate Hairston. He picked up his second sack of the season, resulting in a safety over the weekend. To everyone’s surprise, he has been one of the most consistent pieces of the Colts young secondary to this point. Hopefully he also is just getting a day or two to stay fresh.