JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's pretty obvious that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck isn't having any issues with his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. In fact, he's playing at the same level he was before he suffered the original injury in 2015.
That's not good for a Jacksonville Jaguars team that desperately needs a victory against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive, because Luck has absolutely shredded the Jaguars in his seven-year career.
"He looks good me," linebacker Myles Jack said of Luck. "He looks fine to me, and I think they've been figuring things out."
Luck has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,187 yards and 23 touchdowns with eight interceptions in eight games, and further proof that the repaired labrum tear in his right shoulder is a nonfactor is the fact that he's fourth in the NFL with 342 pass attempts. That puts him on pace for 684, which would be the most for any season in his career.
Luck has thrown for at least three touchdowns in the past five games, including three games in which he threw four TD passes.
"He's Comeback Player of the Year," defensive end Calais Campbell said. "I don't think anybody else can win it. What he's doing this year, just given the circumstances of a quarterback and missing two years and coming back and playing the way he's been playing, it's hands down he's Comeback Player of the Year.
"I have a lot of respect for him as a player. He's always a tough matchup."
Especially when he plays the Jaguars. Luck has completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,257 yards and 14 touchdowns with five interceptions in eight games against the division rivals. He averages 282.1 yards per game and is 6-2 in the meetings. He has thrown for 1,168 yards and six TDs with two INTs in four games against the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Sunday's game, however, will be Luck's toughest test of the season. The Jaguars might not be sacking quarterbacks or forcing turnovers at the rate they did last season, but they still lead the NFL in pass defense (190 yards per game). Cornerback A.J. Bouye said Wednesday he will not play against the Colts because of a calf injury, but the Jaguars are expected to get back nickelback D.J. Hayden, who has missed the past six games with a toe injury, and cornerback Tyler Patmon (neck), who missed the last game.
The Colts haven't given up a sack since Oct. 4, but defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has five sacks in the past five games and has 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his four previous games against the Colts. The Jaguars have to get to Luck against an improved offensive line led by rookie guard Quenton Nelson, or it could be another long day.
"He looks good to me," Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said of Luck. "He's really come a long way. Credit to him. That's a long time to be out and to come back, and he is playing well, playing better each week."