We’re less than two months away from the start of the 2018 NFL preseason, and the Seattle Seahawks will open up their four-game slate with an August 9th home matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Ordinarily, the first string doesn’t play that much (and in some cases, none at all), but if there’s any possible intrigue in a preseason opener, it’s the potential return of Colts QB Andrew Luck.
By now, you’ve most likely seen video of Luck throwing a college-sized football at Colts practice. If you haven’t, then here’s the footage.
The reason why this is such a big deal is because of Luck’s torn labrum on his right shoulder, which required surgery. Despite Jim Irsay’s confidence at the time that Luck would be ready to play last season, lingering soreness led to him not playing a snap and ultimately heading to Europe for further treatment. Much has been made about him not being able to throw footballs during his rehabilitation process, leading to speculation over his future and whether his heavily hyped career could be in jeopardy.
“No knock on wood,” Luck said. “I’ll be playing [Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals]. I believe it in my bones.”
“The reason I’m using a little less smaller football is it puts less stress,” Luck added. (via ESPN) “And throwing weighted balls. And the difference between throwing a round ball and a football is how it comes off your hand and often things like that. We’re not in Indianapolis and the 500 just happened, our bodies aren’t vehicles, we aren’t robots.
”You can’t just take a piece off and put a new piece on and go around. We adapt, and if you ask the right questions and if you’re patient enough you can truly learn, and I believe in my bones if I stay patient and ask the right questions and communicate with everybody about my body that slowly but surely I can make myself do anything. That’s sort of been MO.”
The 28-year-old was hailed as Peyton Manning’s successor in Indianapolis, and he led them to playoff appearances in each of his first three seasons. His shoulder injury occurred in 2015, then re-injured in 2016. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Colts have missed the playoffs each of the last three seasons, all while their franchise QB has been missing time due to injury or playing while hurt.
We’ve had our fair share of “Andrew Luck vs. Russell Wilson” debate, but in all seriousness, it’s really unfortunate how his career has been affected. He did throw an NFL regulation football several weeks ago, but that was kept secret (until now) and this is his first time throwing in front of the media in what feels like eons. This is a major step towards the comeback trail for Luck, now under the guidance of new head coach Frank Reich, and perhaps his first bit of in-game action since January 1st, 2017 is going to take place at CenturyLink Field.