WESTFIELD, Ind. -- The past 19 months for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck have consisted of right shoulder surgery, a cortisone shot, a failed comeback attempt, a trip to the Netherlands for rehab, throwing a college-size football, and a lot of mental and physical frustration.
And there were times during that stretch where Luck wasn't sure he would reach the point of even playing in Thursday's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
"There were one or two moments where I wondered if I am ever going to be able to do this again," Luck said Tuesday. "Certainly this (preseason opener at Seattle on Thursday) isn't what I've been working toward the whole time, but sort of in the same vein it is another step in this journey and one that is sort of about the next one right now. That's really exciting and that's fun."
Luck, who hasn't played in a game since Week 17 of the 2016 season, could play as much as one quarter against the Seahawks depending on how the game is going.
"Rhythm, get the ball out," coach Frank Reich said about what he expects from Luck. "Feeling that juice again, getting amped up and all the adrenaline that comes and controlling that on game day."
The script for Luck's return couldn't have gone much better so far. He's been a full participant in nine of the team's 11 practices. He did everything except throw in the two practices he wasn't a full participant in, and those practices were pre-planned before the start of training camp.
"Every day I feel a little bit better about my technique in team drills," Luck said. "Sometimes it's pretty obvious. Sometimes it's not and I also feel better. I feel stronger, I feel more fit. I feel like my arm has more in it, and a little more in it, and a little more in it. Certainly feeling more comfortable with the offense. Been a lot of positive things and I know trying to take the attitude of just get better every day and I know our team is taking that attitude ... I do feel like I'm a little bit more patient with myself, which in turn has made me patient with others."
Luck's demeanor has been completely different in training camp than it's been over the past year. He's always upbeat on the practice field, on the sideline when supporting his teammates, and even with the media after having more a subdued attitude last season. The change is understandable, because this is the healthiest he's been since entering training camp in 2015. Luck has missed 26 games over the past three seasons.
"I probably struggle hiding how I feel at times," he said. "Whether that's a positive or negative thing, whatever. I think I'm happier with myself. The crux of the matter (is that) I think that really allows me to enjoy football and it does feel like a game to me instead of a job or a profession. I don't want to ever lose that feeling. I sort of get it when you hear guys in their late 30s and 40s, and they're talking about it's like playing a kid's game. I think I semi-understand what they feel in their hearts now."