INDIANAPOLIS -- Quarterback Andrew Luck was a full participant in practice on Friday, and barring something unusual happening he’ll be starting when the Indianapolis Colts take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
The reason this is even being discussed is because Luck did not practice Wednesday, the day teams go to the practice field and start working on their game plan for their upcoming opponent, because of a sore right shoulder.
“I think everybody is trying to read too much into this,” coach Chuck Pagano said Friday.
It’s not reading too much into when you take into consideration how everything reached this point.
Pagano, as he always does on Wednesdays, opened up his media session by running down the list of injured players.
There was no mention of Luck -- the franchise player, the $140 million quarterback.
The Colts took the practice field about 90 minutes later and there was no sign of Luck out there. He addressed the media and explained why he didn’t practice.
“This sore is from the game,” Luck said. “[It] was a physical game. Training staff and Coach decided it was best that I didn’t go out today. [I] worked in the training room. Didn’t make it out on the field.”
Was this a slight oversight by Pagano earlier that day?
“He was sore, physical game, and we decided to rest him,” he said.
Pagano and the Colts say too much is being made out of Luck’s health. Luck’s health, especially his right shoulder, is an important subject when he you take into account that he missed nine games last season, and the reality of it is the franchise’s success hinges on him taking every meaningful snap.
How the Colts have tended to Luck this season has been interesting to say the least. It started with the sudden Twitter announcement by owner Jim Irsay a couple of hours prior to the preseason opener against Buffalo that Luck wouldn’t play. Then Pagano -- wisely -- pulled Luck sooner than expected in the third preseason game against Philadelphia because of poor offensive line play.
Luck first showed up on the team’s injury report two weeks ago as a limited participant. The Colts said it was part of a plan they talked about prior. But he has been listed on the team’s injury report five (four limited and one did not practice) out of nine practices since the start of Week 1.
“The sky’s falling, Chicken Little, oh my God ... the kid’s fine,” Pagano said on Sept. 9. “Let the kid go. Leave him alone. Let him play. I don’t know why we even talk about it.”
Now Luck is dealing with “soreness” in his right shoulder after being sacked five times and hit 11 other times against Denver in Week 2. Don't be surprised if Luck remains on the team’s injury report as the hits on him continue to pile up.
“We’re going to manage him the way we manage all our players and try to get him to Sunday as healthy as possible,” Pagano said.