Andrew Luck was not on the field with teammates for their OTA session on Wednesday, but the Indianapolis Colts said there is no cause for alarm.
Luck did not experience a setback, but simply worked out indoors, coach Frank Reich said, as he continues to progress toward a return from the shoulder issue that kept him out all of last season.
“Obviously he’s not out here with the guys, but just shifting the time we’re doing it,” Reich said. “What we’d been doing — he was coming out for the first part, then during individual drills. We just switched that today.”
Luck has yet to throw a regulation football but has dramatically altered his physical appearance. He was spotted in public last week — riding his bicycle to and from the Indianapolis 500 — and revealed a linebacker-esque physique. Part of Luck’s mission this offseason, he said, was to strengthen the muscles around his shoulder.
“I think he’s doing quite well in the weight room and out of the weight room,” Reich said. “We are just encouraged by everything we see. If you look at him physically, he’s a specimen. It’s a long season. You want to get bulletproof as much as you can. I’m impressed with everything he’s doing.”
A former Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning, who knows a thing or two about recovering from a major injury, said he believes Luck needs to maximize reps to rediscover his form. Manning returned from spinal fusion surgery but only after what he estimated was 10,000 reps on the field.
“Everything is an individual thing, so you have to be careful speaking on it since injuries are different,” Manning said in an interview from The Memorial Tournament. “But it’s also universal. For me, I was a (repetition) guy. I liked to get all the reps on practice. The theory of 10,000 reps, I believe in that. I felt like I was kind of behind because I hadn’t gotten the reps even though you have a lot in the bank. It took me a few games before I felt like I was coming back. Getting as many reps as possible is key.”
Offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said Luck is fully up to speed on the installation of the new fast-paced offense Reich is adapting using parts of the current Philadelphia Eagles’ and San Diego Chargers’ playbooks.
Sirianni, who worked with Reich in San Diego, is quizzing each position group with multiple choice tests to gauge their readiness for training camp.
He described Luck as another coach in the quarterback room. But for Manning, constantly praised for his mental acuity, he expects the true test to come when Luck is back between the lines.
“For me, coming off missing the entire year with the neck, I knew I was going to have to play a different kind of way, a different sort of physical state,” Manning said. “I was looking for things like positive feedback from receivers on whether the ball felt the same coming in and then when you get into the game and you throw a deep out. We played a preseason game and I threw a deep comeback route, and that was a thing to check off the box. You want to do everything for the first time again. You want to get hit, you want to make a tight throw, have a two-minute drive. I wanted to do all those things again.”
–Field Level Media