Colts fans should stop panicking about Luck's shoulder injury
Take a deep breath, Colts fans. Sure, your franchise player, Andrew Luck, is still sidelined following January shoulder surgery - he hasn't begun throwing despite passing the usual six-month recovery timeline - but that's no reason to push the panic button.
Luck underwent the procedure after playing the past two seasons with a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder. The injury was manageable, but the strain of that management took its toll on Luck, who the Colts admit struggled with the constant treatments and who was forced to consistently miss practices.
The surgery was a long-term decision, and must be viewed as such. Yes, no one wants to see Luck standing on the sidelines come Week 1, but Indy's training camp doesn't start until July 30, and regardless, this is about Luck being healthy for the next 8-to-10 years, not pushing too hard to play in what should be a rebuilding campaign for the Colts.
Plus, the star quarterback has proven he can perform at a Pro Bowl level with the injury and a messed up practice schedule - Luck posted career highs in yards per attempt and completion percentage last season - so if he misses training camp and some of the preseason, the Colts won't be doomed.
While it's a concern that Luck hasn't thrown for almost seven months, Indy has time and time again refused to put a concrete timetable on his return, seemingly knowing this was a possibility.
And while a fair portion of Colts fans have begun to panic - resorting to analyzing every picture of the pivot to determine exactly how much weight he's lost due to inactivity - there's at least been some positive news in recent days.
Will Carroll, an injury expert, reported Monday that Luck "could" throw now, though he hasn't, and that the Colts are focused on maximizing the stability of the shoulder before moving on to the next stage of rehab.
Carroll's report fits with what Luck told reporters on June 27.
"It's going really well, it's feeling better and better every week," Luck said, according to Brody Miller of the Indianapolis Star. "Still haven't started throwing, but that process will come when it's ready."
"When it's ready" is key.
The cautious approach is always the best option when dealing with a starting quarterback, especially one who's arguably more important to his team than any other in the league, and who's one year removed from signing (at the time) the biggest deal in NFL history.
Some have noted that Cam Newton has already started throwing after undergoing a similar procedure on his shoulder, but Luck's recovery should be viewed in a Colts vacuum.
He'll be cleared when he's cleared. And while fans would like that time to be now, they would also march on Lucas Oil Stadium with pitchforks if the 27-year-old's long-term health was jeopardized by rushing his rehab for the sake of avoiding a few missed games to start the season.
If Luck still hasn't thrown a football come the middle of August, those fans should start preparing for that unfortunate possibility. But until then, they should follow their best player's advice:
"They don't need to have any concerns. It'll be fine," Luck said.