INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – They’re sticking to the process, and not fretting that the process has yet to include Andrew Luck picking up a regulation football and firing it across the practice field.
Are the Indianapolis Colts worried their $140 million quarterback still hasn’t incorporated throwing into his rehab from surgery on his right shoulder even though his target date for throwing without restrictions at the start of training camp looms?
“No, I’m not worried at all,’’ coach Frank Reich said after Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity (OTA).
Luck participated in the early portions of practice. He went through stretching and handoff drills with the running backs and worked on his footwork, but then left the field and headed to the indoor facility for additional non-throwing exercises.
Reich offered glowing reviews on the practice, including how the rookies are settling in with the veterans, but it’s impossible to discuss the Colts’ offseason without broaching the status of their most indispensable player.
Andrew Luck. You know, the franchise QB who hasn’t thrown a football in seven months.
Reich confirmed Luck has yet to throw, and showed no level of concern because of that.
“Right now we’re just continuing to stay in the same mode,’’ he said. “Can’t cut things short. There’s no reason to cut things short. It’s a day-by-day process and evaluation and just staying trusting in that.’’
Luck revealed in late April his first comeback attempt from January 2017 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder failed in mid-October in large part because he “skipped steps . . . and paid for it and been in pain and not been able to help the team and been embarrassed, guilty, whatever.
“I’m not going to do that again. I trust very much the people that I’m working with. More importantly, I trust myself in this process and I trust how I feel.’’
Luck admitted he was following a timeline that included when he would start throwing, but wouldn’t share it with the media.
“I’m very, very confident and very, very optimistic that I’m going to be absolutely fine and come back better than I was,’’ he said.
Luck’s goal: be throwing without restrictions when training camp opens the fourth week of July.
For that to become a reality, he seemingly would have to begin a throwing regimen within the next month. To be throwing “without a governor’’ at the start of camp, Luck would have had to subject his right shoulder to graduated throwing sessions.
“I’m completely comfortable with him throwing when he’s ready, when the doctors say he’s ready,’’ Reich said. “He’s totally engaged in every aspect of what we’re doing mentally. The physical part for a guy like him, you’ve got to work at it, but I’m not worried about that.
“I’m comfortable with the process that’s in place.’’
Can Luck be ready to be throwing without restrictions if he hasn’t starting throwing when the Colts’ veteran minicamp ends June 14?
“Yeah, (he) can,’’ Reich said.
From the end of the Colts’ offseason work to the start of training camp spans roughly six weeks.
“That’s plenty of time,’’ Reich said.
According to NFL rules, once a team concludes its official offseason work, a player may work out at the team facility, but not with teammates and not under the supervision of a coach.
Hypothetically, Luck and a handful of his receivers could meet at Stanford – or Grand Park in Westfield, for that matter – for extended workouts.