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INDIANAPOLIS – Those looking for Andrew Luck on the practice field as the Colts return to Grand Park this weekend will likely be left searching.
On Friday afternoon, Frank Reich said continued pain in Luck’s injured calf is expected to keep the franchise quarterback away from practice for at least three more days.
“He’s continuing to progress with his strength, which is awesome, but there still is a degree of pain that he’s not comfortable with,” Reich said after speaking with Luck on Friday morning.
“Obviously, we are not comfortable putting him out there. So, it’s probably likely he will not be out there for these next three practices and we just continue to work with our medical staff on a plan moving forward.”
The Colts will practice Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings before an off day on Tuesday. The Browns will then come to Grand Park for joint sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, before the Colts break their 2019 camp for good.
With Friday’s news, it’s looking more and more like Luck will not take part in a single full team practice during the 2019 Training Camp.
Luck has sat out the previous 7 practices for the Colts, dating back to his last participation day on Sunday, July 29.
That was when Luck suffered a setback in his limited return to practice.
Luck’s elongated absence from practice, with the belief that he will still be ready for the season opener, is very foreign territory for the quarterback.
In last year’s camp and preseason, Luck was frequently practicing, despite missing the entire spring offseason program.
Luck threw at least 15 passes in 15 of the team’s 18 practices at Grand Park last year. The quarterback then played in 3 of the 4 preseason games, throwing 32 total passes (Luck was 20-of-32 for 204 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT during last year’s preseason). Luck played at least 20 snaps in those 3 preseason games.
It was in 2017, just 8 months after Luck’s shoulder surgery, when the quarterback missed the entire camp, preseason and regular season. In 2019, Luck has yet to practice in a full-team setting. By this time last year, he had fully practiced 9 times.
At this point, seeing Luck in preseason action looks to be a long shot.
He could possibly elevate to full-team reps in the Colts’ first week of practice back at their own complex (the week of August 19th), but that is still no guarantee on Luck then playing in Week Three of the preseason against the Bears (on August 24th).
Given how extremely cautious Luck has been through this entire process, with the aggravating of his calf injury first occurring back in late April, him practicing in 11-on-11 sessions in August remains an actual question.
The Colts open up the regular season on September 8th.
“We remain confident and optimistic on Andrew’s situation,” Reich said on Friday. “But again, it’s still day-to-day and working through that plan and what’s the best plan for him, for the team.”
Here are some injury notes from Reich’s Friday conference call:
- The best news from Thursday’s preseason opener? “We got out of the game very clean medically,” Reich said on Friday afternoon. “A few bumps or bruises, but nothing significant. So we feel good about that as well.” That’s very good news after the Colts dealt with a torn ACL for Deon Cain and a pulled hamstring for Marlon Mack in last year’s preseason opener.
- Reich did not have any updates on when rookies WR-Parris Campbell (hamstring, 7 straight missed practices) and DE-Ben Banogu (hamstring, 6 straight missed practices) might return to practice. Reich said he was having a meeting with the medical staff later on Friday to get more injury updates.
- Adam Vinatieri (knee) didn’t kick on Thursday night because he’s dealing with a ‘little bit of a knee issue,” per Frank Reich. “Not anything that will be a problem,” Reich added as undrafted free agent Cole Hedlund kicked for Vinatieri on Thursday.