On Thursday afternoon, the Indianapolis Colts gm Chris Ballard confirmed what many had speculated for some time now, Andrew Luck will not play in the 2017 season. Instead, the Colts are placing him on the injured reserve, ending his hopes of a 2017 come back.
Rather than forcing him into action, the Colts are continuing to be extremely cautious and have backed off completely on the throwing program he was on once soreness occurred in his surgically repaired shoulder. While gm Chris Ballard didn’t go into specifics about whether it was a new injury, or the old one, where the soreness was…etc.. He did come out and clearly state that he has not received any news that this should jeopardize Andrew Luck’s career in the future, rather that Dr’s and therapists keep preaching patience. The Colts will go back to rehabbing Andrew Luck’s shoulder, and are hoping he can fully return for all of the off-season workouts and be 100% for next season.
Now, patience is exactly what the Colts and fans will have to have now that they do not have the services of the franchise quarterback for the entirety of the 2017 season. Through coaching mistakes and players not seeming to give a dam, the fan base is at a crossroads in how they feel about the team. This season has gone from one of cautious optimism, to one of frustration and disappointment among fans, and what the Colts must avoid is allowing it to slip into a passionless and disinterested fan base.
In order to do so, they will have to show some signs for the future that things will get better. This must start with playing well with the young talent on the roster. Marlon Mack has excited the fan base, yet he is only averaging 7 carries per game.
Quincy Wilson is another young player that showed plenty of flash during the preseason, yet the coaches and a nagging knee injury have kept him out for nearly the entire season.
Tarrell Basham is a 3rd round pick who couldn’t find the field during the first 7 weeks. In week 8, he made an appearance and had a nice sack against Andy Dalton, showing big time burst.
But perhaps the most important area for improvement needed for the Colts is for the offensive line to come together and stop the onslaught on the quarterback by opposing defenses.
So while Andrew Luck may not play in 2017, there is still reason for optimism about the future of the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and the Colts have one of the best when he is healthy. It may still be 6 months away, but the draft is coming and help is on the way in terms of free agency and rookie draft picks. Turnarounds in the NFL happen quickly. With the right moves and smart spending, the Colts can put a respectable team on the field in 2018, and with a healthy Andrew Luck, who knows what can happen.