‘I fully expect to be out there’ Andrew Luck says shoulder injury won’t affect game
By Mike Chappell
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 30, 2015) – Andrew Luck is dealing with an injury to his right shoulder, but there’s nothing wrong with his feet.
The cornerstone of the Indianapolis Colts showed off his nimbleness Wednesday when addressing an unspecified injury to his throwing shoulder.
The injury isn’t expected to keep Luck out of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I would not bet against 12. Ever,’’ Coach Chuck Pagano said. “I have supreme confidence that he’ll play.’’
However, Luck wasn’t out there Wednesday for a full afternoon of work. He injured his shoulder at some point in Sunday’s game at Tennessee and it limited his practice participation. He did very little throwing, perhaps none during the team portion.
That’s a rarity since the Colts selected Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. It’s believed the only previous time he’s appeared on the NFL’s injury report was near the end of his rookie season with a knee issue.
While Luck’s shoulder might not be 100 percent, it was clear that hasn’t impacted his elusiveness.
His back-and-forth with the media was equal parts brevity and deflection.
Luck’s most detailed response was that his right shoulder “didn’t feel as good as I would have liked it to after the game.’’
He then bobbed and weaved as the media sought specifics regarding the most indispensable body part on the Colts’ roster.
“There always are bumps and bruises that show up through high school, college and the NFL,’’ Luck said. “It’s no different than any player in any locker room in football.
“You deal with stuff. It’s not that big of a deal.’’
So, just bumps and bruises?
“Nothing more than that in my mind,’’ Luck said.
When exactly did the injury occur?
“I’m not going to get into what it is or when it happened,’’ he said.
Was an MRI performed to determine the nature or severity of the injury?
“Uh, I’m not going to talk about (that),’’ he said.
How limited were you in practice?
“I took . . .,’’ Luck said, before pausing and laughing. “Again, I’m not going to go into specifics, but it was limited. So whatever limited means to y’all, that’s what it was.’’
Vague during much of his conversation with the media, Luck fully expects to make his 58th consecutive start, including the playoffs.
“No one has a crystal ball,’’ he said, “but I fully expect to be out there.’’
The Colts have tested Luck’s durability from the first time he stepped on the field in ’12. In his NFL debut at Chicago, he was sacked three times and hit another seven times by the Bears.
The team’s inability to adequately address his offensive line – it has used 26 different starting combinations in his 57 career starts – has routinely forced Luck to operate in hazardous working conditions. He’s been sacked 105 times in the 57 games.
Just as troubling, though, is the number of times he’s been hit while throwing. According to NFL game books, Luck has been hit 21 times in three games thus far after being whacked 111 times a year ago.
“Hits are never good, but I haven’t noticed him any different,’’ backup Matt Hasselbeck said. “All day (Wednesday), I didn’t think practice was going to be any different and I was with him the whole day.’’
Pagano seemed to be critical of Luck’s continued shoddy pass protection after the 20-7 loss to the New York Jets.
“That’s been the case for three years now, has it not?’’ Pagano said. “He should be more than comfortable dealing with what he’s dealing with.’’
Wednesday, Pagano was asked which play against the Titans resulted in Luck’s injury.
“Pick one of ‘em,’’ he replied.
Pagano also understands opponents will continue to apply the pressure on Luck until the Colts can solve their protection issues.
The Jaguars, he said, are “going to try to put a ton of pressure obviously on our quarterback and try to challenge our protections, just like everybody else. We’ve got some things to shore up, like we always do.’’
Until Sunday, everybody’s interest will focus on Luck’s right shoulder.
Pagano said Luck was “sore’’ Wednesday, “so we err on the side of caution. We rested him.’’
How much throwing did he actually do?
“If I told you that, I’d have to kill you,’’ Pagano joked.
With Luck’s workload limited, Hasselbeck’s increased. He indicated he did all the throwing during Wednesday’s team drills.
“(Luck is) still stealing all the reps,’’ Hasselbeck said. “I just took the throws. I got to throw the ball to T.Y. (Hilton) for the first time in a long time.
“Then the new guy took my reps.’’
That would be Alex Tanney, who was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week.
Hasselbeck anticipates Luck being “fine’’ Thursday.
“I think they forced him to rest for once,’’ he said. “Probably not the first time they’ve tried to do it. Probably the first time that he gave in, to be honest.’’
More updates on Andrew Luck’s condition at Indy Sports Central.