INDIANAPOLIS — The wait for Andrew Luck‘s return to the practice field will extend for at least three more practices.
Luck and Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich talked Friday morning, and it was determined that the quarterback still is not ready to return to practice due to his ongoing calf injury.
“Continuing to progress with his strength, still a degree of pain [in his calf] that he’s not comfortable with,” Reich said. “Obviously we’re not comfortable with putting him out there. We’re going to continue to work with our medical staff on the plan moving forward.”
The Colts are scheduled to practice Saturday through Monday before taking a day off and then resuming with two days of joint practices with the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday and Thursday.
The longer Luck remains out, the less likely that he will play in the preseason. Luck, who originally suffered the injury in late April, missed all of the Colts’ organized team activities and minicamp in the spring and has taken part in just three practices — none as a full participant — in training camp.
“Obviously we’re not comfortable with putting him out there. We’re going to continue to work with our medical staff on the plan moving forward.”
Colts coach Frank Reich, on QB Andrew Luck
The Colts announced July 29 that Luck was going to stop practicing until he felt like his calf was 100 percent healthy. He said at the time that he felt like something was going to “yank” or “pull” when he would open “up a little bit” and while changing “direction aggressively” in practice.
Luck, who is “driving the truck” on his return, according to Reich, has been a participant in the team’s walk-throughs, where he has taken most if not all the snaps in an attempt to stay up to speed with the offense. He has also been working with throwing coach Tom House.
There is also a mental aspect to go with the physical side of the injury. Luck still has “emotional scars” from the right shoulder injury that started in Week 3 of the 2015 season and cost him the entire 2017 season.
Reich didn’t shut the door on keeping a third quarterback on the roster heading into the regular season. The Colts play at the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1.
“[General manager] Chris [Ballard] and I are always talking about every spot the whole way,” Reich said. “We remain confident and optimistic on Andrew’s situation. But again, it’s still day-to-day, and we’re going through the plan of what’s the best play for him, for the team. We’ll just adjust as needed, if needed.”
There are high expectations for the Colts in 2019 after finishing 11-5 and reaching the AFC divisional round last season. Those expectations will damper some if Luck continues to be out.