INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since last October, Andrew Luck was seen throwing regulation-size footballs at the Indianapolis Colts’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and he is expected to be without limitations entering training camp.
The Colts’ Twitter account posted video of Luck dropping back and throwing a pass to the flats, along with the caption, “Another step closer.”
After practice, owner Jim Irsay told reporters that Luck will not have any limitations when training camp begins in late July.
“It makes me excited, makes me happy,” an exuberant Luck told the media. “It was really fun to come out and throw.”
Luck was throwing a Wilson TDS 1205 on Tuesday, a standard high school football that is lighter than NFL footballs, but he said he started throwing “The Duke” a few weeks ago and it “felt great,” despite a bit of a mental block building back up to it. He is currently “bridging” the gap between the lighter footballs and a regulation ball right now, also working in overhead tennis serves and throws with round balls to make the same motion with less stress on the shoulder.
In an attempt to simulate a typical week during the regular season, Luck has been throwing four days a week: Three days in a row to simulate a typical practice week, and then an off day before a fourth day to approximate games.
Luck had not been on the field for the portions of Colts’ practices open to the media during organized team activities in recent weeks, but coach Frank Reich told reporters he had been participating in individual drills. The signal-caller spent much of the offseason with throwing gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, using weighted balls as part of his rehab.
The team has taken a very conservative approach in getting Luck healthy after the QB suffered pain in his throwing shoulder in his return to practice last October, nine months removed from shoulder surgery to correct an injury he originally suffered during the 2015 season. After the setback, he was shut down and missed the rest of the season. He spent a month in the Netherlands getting therapy on the shoulder.
“I had pain last year,” Luck said Tuesday. “Pain, and I wasn’t being honest with myself about it. . . . There’s not that right now.
“. . . It’s gone. That pain is gone, and it’s going to stay that way.”
Reich, Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard have each said they expect Luck ready for Week 1 of 2018, and Luck was adamant Tuesday that he’ll be good to go when the Colts host the Bengals on Sept. 9.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Luck said with conviction. “No, no ‘knock on wood,’ I’m going to be there. I’ll be playing. I believe it in my bones.”