In the NFL, injuries can happen to anyone. But when you have a team that can’t keep their QB healthy, year after year, fans begin to think the team has an albatross hanging around. Just ask Indianapolis Colts fans now that franchise quarterback Andrew Luck is, once again, going to miss the rest of the season.
Luck was officially placed on injured reserve last week so he can rehab his injured throwing shoulder. Luck hasn’t had much luck since undergoing surgery to fix a torn labrum in the offseason. Since then, he has missed all of training camp, the preseason and nine straight regular-season games. Luck is frustrated, but no more so than Indy fans. When he was drafted out of Stanford back in 2012, the big QB with the rocket arm was supposed to lead a resurgent Colts franchise to the promised land. The team had struggled to find a good QB after the departure of super bowl winning Peyton Manning.
In the early years, he showed flashes of promised brilliance, but Indianapolis struggled to keep it all together. They couldn’t seem to build around Luck. Then, early in 2015, Luck was injured, missing a few games. Later that year, Luck was injured again, missing the rest of the season.
Luck showed brilliance again in 2016, though he had surgery on his throwing shoulder after that season. Since then, Indy’s franchise guy’s future has been up in the air. Expected to return this season, Luck’s comeback had been delayed several times. Now, it’s “wait until next year…”
Doctors and team spokesmen are telling fans to be patient. Luck is far from finished. He just needs more time to heal. How much more time? No one is quite sure on that score. Just be patient. For fans, that’s probably good advice, at least for now. The last thing they want is for Luck to come back too soon and suffer a career-ending injury. So, they are willing to wait on their Luck to return. But that’s probably not going to help embattled Indy coach Chuck Pagano. After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, Indy is 2-6 so far this season, last place in the AFC South with little real hope of leapfrogging ahead of the Titans, Jaguars or the Texans. With half the season gone, and games looming against the Steelers, Bills, and Ravens, not to mention division games against the Titans, Jags, and Texans, the Colts could very easily finish at .500 – or worse – again this year.
Pagano is trying to win without the team’s lynchpin, but in the capricious world of the NFL, personnel factors are considered well after results and records. How his team finishes out the year should go a long way toward determining Pagano’s fate. As for Luck … it’s, once again, wait ‘til next year.