Colts’ Andrew Luck practicing with ‘no limitiations’
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With a two-word response, Andrew Luck alleviated any lingering concerns as he and the Indianapolis Colts wade into their first week of ramped-up offseason work.
So, you’re full go?
“No limitations,’’ Luck said.
He went on to elaborate that it’s fun being back on the practice field as the Colts headed into the first of four weeks of organized activities. And he’s enjoying learning Rob Chudzinski’s offense. And he’s intrigued with the array of talent at the wide receiver position.
But everything paled when compared to Luck’s practice status.
You’ll understand why an entire fan base exhaled.
After starting the first 61 games of his career including the playoffs, Luck endured a fourth season that nearly involved as many damaged body parts as starts. He missed two games early with injuries to his right shoulder and ribs, and the final seven with a lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscle.
Like so many elite quarterbacks, Luck embraces every rep, every practice, every game.
“When something’s taken away from you,’’ he said, “it gives you more appreciation of it.’’
Coach Chuck Pagano was asked if Luck, the Colts’ most irreplaceable player, was back in form.
“He looks really good,’’ he said. “I think he’s in a good place. I know he missed a lot of time, but he’s doing a great job.
“He’s just really, really happy to be back on the football field and playing football. He’s always been a gladiator when it comes to preparation.’’
A major aspect of the offseason has been Luck and the rest of the offense getting acquainted with Chudzinski’s scheme. It will be the third offense Luck has had to grasp in five seasons.
“There definitely is a learning curve,’’ Luck said. “There’s stuff every day (where) you sit back and ‘Oh, man, I forgot that’ or ‘I missed that.’ It’s part of learning anything new.
“It’s going out there and making a mistake, but the key is not making the same mistake twice. Mistakes are going to happen, but you can’t repeat those.’’
One area that Luck is focusing on involves risk-reward situations and realizing when it’s prudent to give up on a play by throwing the football away or taking a sack.
He suffered the lacerated kidney Nov. 8 against the Denver Broncos while fighting for additional yardage inside the 10-yard line. In that instance, the risk was worth the possible reward.
However, too often Luck has exposed himself to unnecessary contact.
“I definitely think I have an obligation to keep myself healthy, not only to myself but to this team,’’ he said. “That dictates changing preparation a little bit. I have to.’’
And that starts during the offeason, during practice.
“If a play breaks down in practice, making a full-speed decision to throw it away,’’ Luck said. “Just to train that aspect of it.
“If you’ve been deficient, you want to change in that area. It’s a fine line. You can talk about it, but it’s what you do on the field.’’
Attention temporarily shifted from what was going on during Tuesday’s practice to a trainer tending to Phillip Dorsett.
The 2015 first-round draft pick was on the ground behind the action. He was injured, and clearly angered by the situation.
Pagano wasn’t able to elaborate on the injury other than to say it likely was a hamstring issue.
“He’s running a hundred miles an hour for that ball and stretched out for it,’’ he said. “I’m guessing it’s a (hamstring). Hopefully it’s not too serious.’’
Dorsett left practice early, accompanied by a trainer.
The Colts are hopeful defensive linemen Henry Anderson and Art Jones will be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
Jones missed all of last season after injuring his left ankle during the preseason while Anderson suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee against the Broncos.
Among players not participating in Tuesday’s practice were guard Hugh Thornton (ankle), offensive tackle Denzelle Good, wide receiver Donte Moncrief and running back Tyler Varga.
Thornton had a small brace on his right ankle while Moncrief wore a boot on his left foot. He underwent toe surgery during the offseason. Also, defensive lineman T.Y. McGill had a boot on his left foot.