It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from General Luck. The last news we received was that he was in Europe receiving treatment and would begin throwing in early January. His health, recovery and assume eventual return to not only the Americas but NFL life has been met with great speculation and has led many to question if the greatest quarterback prospect of this generation would be done with football completely.
This afternoon, Andrew Luck did his best to dispel those rumors and answer as many questions as he could about himself, his struggles and the procedures he has undergone both in the states and abroad.
To start he looks great:
A far cry from the skinny man we all saw over the summer, Luck has clearly returned to some form of training as he looks much more like the 240 lb athlete he has always been.
So where has he been? Luck confirmed that he has been in the Netherlands doing rehab with a trainer he’s worked with before but that he didn’t have any procedures or injections or anything of the sort, done. Mentioned rehab, strength training (which looks obvious) and soft tissue work.
Seems odd that no procedures were done, but it’s really none of my business where you rehab, Mr. Luck.
How is the shoulder right now? He said that it feels strong and more stable. He mentioned being more confident in it. Why did he feel like he needed to go to the Netherlands to seek treatment? This question seemed to really hit home for him. It seemed significant, watching him react to it. He said that he needed to get away because he felt like he was being pulled in too many directions and that he couldn’t focus. He said that he felt he had become a distraction to the team and he never wanted that and by going to the Netherlands he was able to keep things simple. He also talked about learning a little Dutch while he was there and said it was an “interesting language” something only a Stanford grad would say.
Have you started throwing a football? He said he had not but that he was preparing to throw. He talked about sticking to the process and not skipping steps. He said he was in the process of preparing to throw “if that makes any sense”.
When asked about additional surgeries, he said his “gut” told him that he wouldn’t need another surgery but that he needs to work more. He said that throwing the ball wasn’t the single thing that would determine how he was progressing and there were other factors that would determine the future.
At one point he was asked, about playing through the injury for so long and knowing what he knows now, if he could go back and do things differently, would he. This question seemed to surprise him. I genuinely don’t believe he had ever questioned the timing of everything before this moment. He paused and answered that he wasn’t going to entertain the question because he couldn’t live in the past.
The question I (and everyone else) wanted to know was about being back for the start of the 2018 season. He confidently said that doesn’t see any way that the start of the 2018 season would be in jeopardy at all. He was incredulous with his answer, Andrew Luck fully believes he’s back for 2018.
I will add, he said that he believes that he will be ready for all organized NFL activities before joking with the reporter about pinning him down on giving a timeline when he had previously declined to give one.
Luck said at one point that the “Injury rate in the NFL is 100%” and that he wasn’t unique, he went on to talk about his surgery and what he has understood about the procedure that he had and mentioned that he “has some things I have to work through that are different than average”.
So while he didn’t give us much to go on specifically about the injury he does confirm that he has not healed like he believed he would. Working though things that are different than normal, doesn’t seem to indicate that they knew all along that he would miss the season. He confirmed that he didn’t have any idea why it’s taken so long to heal. As a point of speculation, I tend to believe that means that no one knows why it’s taken so long to heal.
When asked about the validity to the rumors of not wanting to be in Indy? He shot that down immediately. He talked about Mr. Irsay’s comments being taken out of context and how many great conversations he has had with the owner and that he’s in a good place in Indianapolis.
He talked about how this process hasn’t been fun and nothing about it has been easy. He did mention that he wasn’t 100% but that the pain is significantly diminished (which is telling considering he isn’t throwing a football and it’s only diminished) he’s getting closer and he’s optimistic.
There were times watching the press conference that Andrew Luck looked uncomfortable. Some of the questions about his recovery and the mental aspect of what has happened seemed to throw him off.
I say that as a man who dated in his early 20’s and I noticed a look on his very bearded face that was similar to a face that I’ve seen a lot of women make in bars when asked if someone could buy them a drink, the expression was that of “Well I’m here, I don’t want to be, but sure, I’ll take your drink”.
He mentioned that at one point he “didn't see the positives” in things and talked about how weird it was to watch his team while being on another continent. At another point he was asked if it was difficult to give up the control that he was so used to having and he said giving up that control was something that he’s had to learn throughout the process and called himself a “control freak”.
He said that he never believed that his career was in jeopardy but he did admit that the thought of “what if I never play again” did cross his mind.
I'll be honest: Andrew Luck looked beaten down today. The past few months have clearly worn on him.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 29, 2017
I asked him what was the low point through all this, and he paused for about five seconds. pic.twitter.com/GQebz7PzgX
All in all it was good to see Andrew Luck in front of reporters and to do so looking healthy. He answered questions he probably would have been happy to never answer but like the professional he has always been, he stood in the pocket and took the hits. I won’t speculate on anything but it does seem like Luck has been through a lot more than just a physical injury.
We will have more on some of the information that Andrew gave us later, but if you take anything from this press conference it should be a sense of hope that 2018 will see #12 back on the field and the playoffs not far behind. Be excited Colts fans.