Are Andrew Luck‘s chronic injuries going to hamper the rest of his career?
That is the question the Indianapolis Colts are dealing with after general manager Chris Ballard revealed this week that Luck will miss the preseason and that they’re not sure if he will be ready for the regular season.
Ballard said what they thought was a calf issue has now become a high ankle sprain issue. He said Luck is having pain in the “high anklish” area of his leg.
Depending on how serious it is, a high ankle sprain can take six weeks to three months or longer to heal.
So the Colts don’t know when Luck, who sat out the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury, will be back, although Ballard said, “This is not 2017.”
But who knows what it is? He said Luck won’t undergo surgery and will go into rehab. Nobody should be surprised if he misses significant time this year. Chronic pain is not an easy issue to deal with.
And if Jacoby Brissett sees extensive playing time instead of Luck, it is hard to imagine them making the playoffs. They went 4-12 without Luck in 2017 and then rebounded from a 1-5 start last year to make the playoffs and win a playoff game with Luck calling signals.
How this all was revealed is a story in itself.
It started when Colts owner Jimmy Irsay said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that Luck was dealing with what he called an issue with a “small little bone.”
Irsay tried to downplay it saying, “I know everyone has questions about Andrew and that sort of thing. I really feel very confident he is going to find his way through this thing.”
“I think after the Kevin (Durant) thing, everyone is erring on the side of caution, but frankly this is not even in the Achilles tendon. It is in another area. It’s a bone. You know I am not good at these things … a small little bone.”
Irsay is right: He is not good at these injury things.
But his comments resulted in Ballard holding a conference call with reporters about Luck. Ballard said the Colts don’t think it is a bone issue, but it is little consolation that he now has a high ankle sprain issue.
Ballard said Luck can play even if he’s not 100 percent.
“If he can function, yes,” Ballard said. “If his pain is under control and he can protect himself and play, yes.”
Ballard said the injury was a cumulative things through the years.
“He’s had some issues with his left (ankle) for a while,’’ Ballard said. “We think we’ve found it. Is there a 100 percent guarantee? No, but we think we have, so we’ll move forward and try to treat it.”
For now, his season and his future remain up in the air.
Since he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 3 of his rookie year, Luck has missed 26 games because of shoulder, kidney and rib issues.
And now he’s suffering pain, and who knows how much rest and rehab he will need.
Coach Frank Reich said Luck is “freakish” in his ability and added that when gets back, “he’s going to progress faster than most people because of his gifts.”
If he can’t stay healthy, though, he may not become the franchise quarterback the Colts thought he was going to be.
When they drafted Luck, Irsay said the goal was to win multiple Super Bowls with him.
Now they are just trying to get him back on the field.