Just when Colts fans thought the nightmare was over, they find themselves about to head into the break that follows OTAs and Minicamp wondering about the health of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. The good news? The reported injury is a calf strain and the team has consistently indicated that holding Luck out of practices is simply a precautionary measure.
Thankfully, his shoulder is not the issue.
Unfortunately, the stale taste in the mouths of Colts faithful after unfulfilled promises in the past regarding Luck and injuries creates some hesitation. If that wasn’t enough, superstar basketball player Kevin Durant’s injury that has rocked the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs has certainly not helped.
The Warriors were reporting that Durant was dealing with a calf strain and, on the brink of losing in the NBA Finals, they cleared him to return to practice and game action to save their championship bid. The way he started the game, there was no reason to believe that he wasn’t ready to go. He looked like a player who could turn the tide back in Golden State’s favor. That lasted for about 12 minutes.
When Durant went down with a ruptured Achilles, it shocked the NBA world. It also sent shock waves through the Colts fan base and perhaps even the front office. Returning after missing a month of basketball nursing a calf strain ended up being a catastrophic decision. There could be no greater cautionary tale about rushing back a player before they’re physically ready.
With all of that said, there is nothing to indicate that Andrew Luck faces the same fate if he were to return to practice. It is safe to say that situations like the one Durant is in are certainly rare. Calf strains aren’t the most uncommon injury in the world and the vast majority of those strains to regress or manifest into a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Regarding where the team stands, at this point head coach Frank Reich views Luck’s availability at the start of training camp as a “no-brainer.”
I mean, in my mind it’s a no-brainer. I mean, you never know. You can always re-aggravate something, I suppose. He starts working out and this thing heals next week and then he goes out and is working out the next couple weeks and re-aggravate something. But barring anything crazy, in my mind it’s more of a no-brainer.
Barring anything crazy... Have I mentioned Kevin Durant?
If it helps, Luck himself also believes that he will be ready to go when the team reconvenes for training camp. When asked, Luck said, “I’ll be ready for training camp and the early-report date.”
For those keeping track, he will have about a month and a half to continue rest and rehabilitation before the Colts report in late July. The team admits that the recovery time period has been longer than normal for Luck but also notes that he re-aggravated while completing some training. Luck explained:
I aggravated it training and things can be stubborn sometimes. I certainly don’t feel as young as I once did. It’s also certainly being conservative with things. It’s one of those things I learned going through my shoulder. I certainly did not expect (to be out this long). But there’s a lot less anxiety in my life about it than I had in the past with certain things.’
If there is anything positive to take away from Luck’s experiences over the last few years, he has gained some respect and come to terms with realizing he will have to be patient with injuries. Also, again, the injury is not related to his throwing shoulder. In fact, Luck noted that he continues to get plenty of reps with his arm to keep it ready for when he can get back to his feet and start throwing to teammates on the practice field. Luck said:
I’ve thrown significantly, sort of off my feet, to make sure I don’t aggravate something. But keeping my arm in shape certainly. There’s a bunch to do there.’
When asked what kind of football he has been throwing. Luck laughed and said, “A football, a pigskin, Wilson, Duke, with Roger Goodell’s signature on it.”
Only time will tell how things play out for Luck and his strained calf. It is very clear at this point that he and the team will take no chances by trying to rush his return. They appear ready to be as patient and meticulous with this injury as they were with his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Until he can return to the field, Luck continues to be a very active participant in film rooms. Reich explained:
He has missed the on-field work, but he has gotten so much (done) in the meetings. Andrew’s really been able to have even more input into this system this year, into meetings, putting his imprint on what we’re doing. Now, knowing what he likes, what he doesn’t like and why he likes what he likes within our system. I think it’s taken the meetings to a higher level. He’s had a real strong presence this whole offseason.
Hopefully he can take the communication with teammates in the film room and in meetings to the next level quickly in training camp. It is difficult to express how much his presence throughout camp can elevate the team’s chances for getting out to a strong start in the 2019 NFL season.
How worried are you about Andrew Luck’s calf strain?
This poll is closed
Worried that it could cost him the season.
Worried that he will miss the start of training camp.
Not worried about missing the start of training camp.
Worried? It’s just a friggin’ calf strain.