When it comes to trusting an NFL front office, I think we all know that any public comments should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially regarding star players and injuries.
Andrew Luck’s shoulder has been a hot topic (rightly so) amongst Colts fans this off-season. The longer this drags on without any concrete time table from the Colts, my mind can’t help but wander back to the 2011 off-season and Peyton Manning’s neck problems.
And yes, I know I’m comparing Manning having surgery on his neck in an off-season dominated by the NFL lockout to Luck having surgery on his shoulder. So a little bit of apples to oranges here.
That being said, let’s compare a quick timeline here.
Manning’s first neck surgery came in the 2010 off-season to repair a pinched nerve. There wasn’t really any concern here from Colts fans. Manning recovered, and was ready to go for training camp.
After get hit numerous times in the season opener against the Texans, many fans speculated that something might be wrong with Manning. I think most of us specifically remember late in the game Manning staying down or just a bit longer than normal after one hit.
A few weeks later, Manning began wearing a sleeve over his elbow, but played through the entire season.
Fast forward to May 2011, and it was announced that Manning would have surgery on his neck to repair a bulging disk in his neck. And then everything began.
Reports on Manning’s health were few and far between due to the lockout.
After Chris Mortensen reported in early July that Manning was not progressing as he had hoped, there was some panic in Colts land. Again, we (the fans) had no knowledge Manning had, at this point, undergone two procedures at this point.
On July 20, it was announced that Manning would not be ready for Training Camp. The news didn’t flood in as much of a surprise, as most figured the Colts would not rush Manning back to start camp.
However. Two weeks later Mortensen reported that Manning had made “significant progress” in his rehab.
And then only a few days later, Manning signed his huge contract extension with the Colts. At that moment, all seemed well. Manning was progressing well and had just signed an extension.
Then as training camp progressed, Manning’s availability was still in question. Nearing the final pre-season game, news broke that Manning would be unavailable for Week 1 in Houston, and the Colts signed Kerry Collins.
Of course, you all know the rest.
If you’re curious about dates before, during, and after that off-season, NFL.com has a nice breakdown of the timeline.
Now let’s take a look at Luck’s timeline so far.
Here, the issues all began in 2015. Some of us here at Stampede Blue speculated that Luck had something happen in the season opener against Buffalo (if not in the pre-season). Officially, though, Luck’s shoulder problems began during a Week 3 win against the Titans.
Luck missed two games with this shoulder injury, and most of us figured the QB to be fine, as his play improved. Then, Luck was knocked out for the rest of the season with a lacerated kidney against the Broncos.
Luck remained on the active roster for the rest of 2015 (much like Manning in 2011) but never played in the remainder of the season.
In the off-season, it was confirmed Luck had some shoulder problems, but he would not have surgery. Instead, he would opt for rehab.
The only other notable Luck news that off-season was Luck signing his huge contract extension to stay with the Colts.
Luck was a full participant in mini-camp and Training Camp, and all looked well for the Colts QB.
That is, until Luck’s name showed up on the Week 1 injury report with a shoulder ailment. While Luck’s play was not diminished on the field, he remained limited in practice and on the injury report all year with a shoulder problem.
It was announced after the season that Luck would undergo surgery on his throwing shoulder to repair the problem.
Since the surgery, news has been hard to come by on Luck’s status. In early June, Owner Jim Irsay stated that Luck was “healing tremendously.”
Almost like when Manning had made “significant progress” in his recovery.
With Luck’s unavailability at mini-camp, more questions have been asked. Both Mike Chappell and Stephen Holder have both speculated that Luck will begin Training Camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
When Head Coach Chuck Pagano was asked if Luck would be ready for camp, Pagano said he was “praying” and “hoping” that he would be. That isn’t a confidence boosting comment.
In my opinion, the similarities between Manning and Luck are definitely there. As I said, comparing the two is a little like apples to oranges, but there’s enough to draw connection.
So what do you think, Colts fans? Is there reason to be concerned for Luck’s availability for Training Camp and subsequently the 2017 season?