The Indianapolis Colts are facing more trouble with regard to the health of Andrew Luck. Tuesday evening General Manager Chris Ballard had a conference call with the media, inspired by Jim Irsay’s comments on Luck. With media speculating wildly, he clearly felt the need to address the issue and did so over the course of a phone call in which he fielded media questions about the injury.
» MRI in March reveals calf strain— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 14, 2019
» Luck starts camp. Pain spreads to ankle, specifically up front.
» Colts believe it's Os Trigonum (which led to Irsay's bone comment). Learned later Monday night it's not.
» Team *believes* they've found source of pain.
» No surgery. Rehab.
According to Ballard, Luck is dealing with a “high ankle-like” issue, not the bone issue Irsay spoke of Monday evening. Ballard also cited that Irsay’s comments were premature, and that the “bone issue” is no longer the point of focus.
Ballard says it's a calf injury... wasn't getting better.... in course of dealing w it he developed ankle issue... They explored an area near the bone and it does not appear to be the issue... focus has shifted elsewhere.... Saw another expert and there's a high ankle-like issue— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 13, 2019
Ballard’s comments point toward another twist in the Luck injury saga which feels a bit like the mess that was 2017. He stated that there wasn’t a clear cut incident that they believed to be the cause of injury, but rather a series of issues which eventually led to the problem with the calf strain.
Given that a calf strain of the nature they believed it to be typically should have healed by now, the team set out looking for more answers, and has been unable to identify the exact source of the problem for the 29 year-old signal caller.
Ballard couldn't offer complete answers bc they're still working thru some of this, but one thing that came through in this call: The Colts weren't being evasive with info as much as they just didn't HAVE info. I'm not sure that makes anyone feel better, but it's true.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 14, 2019
Ballard was hesitant to offer a timetable for Luck’s return, but indicated that this is “not 2017” and elaborated that they had attempted to build a roster that could be more than just Andrew Luck. He also said they were not ready to rule Luck out for week one, but acknowledged that he needs time to prepare in order to play.
When asked if Luck would play if he was less than 100%, Ballard said:
“If he can function, yes, and if his pain’s under control and he can protect himself and play good, yes.”
This is certainly not the news Colts fans wanted to hear, because whether Ballard admits it or not, Luck being on the field is critical to this team’s success. If Jacoby Brissett has to play significant snaps for the team, that is a problem.
In terms of recovery, there is no change in the process from the Colts perspective. Surgery is not in the plan and they will continue to rehab him with a focus on the front of the ankle after the most recent discovery.
However, with the regular season bearing down on them, the time is short for a full recovery, and the longer it takes to get his ankle right, the more likely it gets that we will see Jacoby Brissett under center for week one. Let’s just hope he progresses quickly.