Colts General Manager Chris Ballard appeared on 1070 the Fan’s “The Ride with JMV” on Wednesday afternoon. During his appearance, he discussed numerous issues surrounding the status of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis front office, team owner Jim Irsay, and Luck’s future with the team.
In response to any rumors suggesting that there are harsh feelings shared between the Colts front office or team owner and Andrew Luck, Ballard said:
In terms of the organization and Andrew’s relationship, it’s still very good. I’ve had about two meetings with just me, Mr. Irsay and Andrew where we’ve all sat down and talked this through. There’s not been at any point has anybody – Mr. Irsay or anyone in the front office – that’s unhappy with Andrew. He knows that
The show’s host, John Michael Vincent, asked Ballard directly about the comments Irsay made in August — which were thrust back into the news cycle earlier this week. In particular, the mental aspects of Luck’s recovery or potential questions raised about his toughness. Ballard said:
Any player that has surgery – knee, ankle – there’s a . . . I think what Mr. Irsay was getting at is they’ve all got to overcome that hurdle. They have to overcome the hurdle of getting back out there on the field and playing again and accepting where they’re at.
Finally, and most importantly, Ballard addressed a rather small contingent of voices who have suggested that Luck’s shoulder injury is career threatening.
Not at all. Lord knows I get it from my wife. ‘Is this career-threatening?’ I’ve never got ‘career-threatening’ from anybody. That’s never been said. That’s never been said internally.
Also, at this point there is not a plan for additional surgery.
It’s rehab right now, that’s where we’re at. That’s the best course of action right now.
While fans and some members of the media have thrown out accusations that the Colts front office has been misleading about Luck’s injury this year, General Manager Chris Ballard and head coach Chuck Pagano have been consistent throughout. Neither man was willing to put a timetable on a potential return. Ballard admitted during his appearance with JMV tonight, and in previous interviews, that the team was optimistic about his recovery and return to the football field in 2017 but has expressed repeatedly that no timeline was every set specifically because every recovery is different.
While it might take some time for the Colts fan base to trust the messages that come out of the front office, every time I hear Ballard speak I get the feeling that he’s being honest. One thing is for sure, he’s had to go through just about every iteration of team and fan turmoil or unrest as you can handle as an NFL General Manager, and he hasn’t even been at it for a full year.