Andrew Luck has not participated in any practices this preseason. He has not practiced since having surgery on a torn labrum back in January, an injury that he continued to play through late in the year. He has, apparently, been doing some type of throwing, though no one with the Colts will say anymore. And if the head coach is to be taken at his word, Chuck Pagano had not seen him throw a football post-surgery as of Monday. From Gregg Doyel:
“I’m never there to see,” Chuck says, “so I couldn’t tell you.”
Literally, you’ve not seen Andrew throw the ball?
“No,” he tells me. “Most of the time he’s in the training room, we’re in meetings, doing such. I kind of stay in my lane.”
Based on the track record around here, I’m telling Chuck, and based on how incredible that answer is to believe, I don’t believe you’ve not seen him throw.
“Well,” Pagano says, big smile, “you’re entitled to whatever you want to believe.”
There are ten days, and counting until the start of the regular season. Andrew Luck is, right now, still on the PUP list, and will need to be removed by Saturday if he is to play in any of the first six games of the season.
Oh, and the Colts’ quarterbacks, behind Andrew Luck, are Scott Tolzien and Stephen Morris. Tolzien is 30 years old, and has started 3 NFL games. He has 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for his career. He is what he is, and that “is” is not a guy who should ever be part of a conscious plan to start a week 1 NFL game. Morris was an undrafted free agent who originally signed with Jacksonville in 2014. He has never appeared in a regular season NFL game.
The Indianapolis Colts have committed malpractice with their quarterback situation.
I have refrained from mentioning the name Colin Kaepernick here because this is more than just about that. Yes, he’s one name, but I don’t know how you could get to this point, have a star quarterback who had a surgery that could put his preseason at risk, and the start of his season, and not have a competent Plan B already in place.
Bob Kravitz disagrees with this idea, when he wrote a piece called “Could the Colts have done a better job handling the Luck injury? I’m saying no.”
Of course, after the intro, pretty much the rest of the piece is an argument for a resounding “yes.” He could have had surgery sooner. He played with the injury too long. They could have addressed the QB situation knowing that he was no guarantee to be back (“I remain confused as to why the Colts didn’t upgrade their backup quarterback situation,” Kravitz writes while not being able to actually say that it means they screwed up.)
The Colts’ margin for error wasn’t great. They were one game away from a playoff spot a year ago. Swing one result and they could have been in the postseason. The opening three weeks of the regular season are at the LA Rams, at home against the Cardinals, and at home against the Browns.
That’s the kind of opening schedule that is forgiving if you have a competent quarterback. With Scott Tolzien–and the Colts have scored 17 points on 11 preseason possessions with Tolzien playing this preseason–well, it could be disaster.
So look, teams have to decide where to spend their money, but the Colts have cap space to have made a competent quarterback addition this offseason. It’d be one thing to have a healthy Aaron Rodgers and decide to carry a Scott Tolzien on the cheap. It’s another to have a quarterback coming off a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and make no effort.
One has to wonder if they are intentionally trying not to win, which seems like a preposterous tin foil thought. To the extent that any NFL teams want to “tank,” it would only be for a franchise quarterback at the top of the draft. Unless Luck is a lot worse off, they have that long-term, even he doesn’t play for a few weeks. Colts fans have to wonder why a team that would seem to be in contention in their division would be so cavalier in the approach to what could be some games without him at the start of the year.
Luck coming off the PUP list by Saturday would not absolve that (it doesn’t mean he’s in condition to play week 1), but if he does not, man, they really screwed this up.