Andrew Luck Unlikely To Return Before November

Colts fans are not quite sure what to make of the Andrew Luck injury situation. There have been several conflicting reports about the quarterback’s health over the past week. The speculation continues as orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Chao, who worked as an NFL head team doctor for 17 years and is now a medical analyst covering the NFL, said that he believes Luck will not be able to return to the field until the month of November.

Multiple reports came out this past weekend that suggested Luck would come back to practice this week ahead of a possible return to the playing field in either the sixth or seventh week of the season.

However, head coach Chuck Pagano announced Wednesday that Luck will not be practicing this week, which is just the latest setback in Luck’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

“He will not practice this week. He’s still a week away as far as his throwing progression and things like that. So, we’ll keep him out of practice this week and hopefully integrate him back in next week.”

With another week on the sideline – or at least not doing football activity – the chances of him playing before November continue to diminish.

Dr. Chao expects him to need about four weeks of practice before he’d be ready to play again, and that would push his timeline all the way back until early November at the earliest.

Andrew Luck is all smiles as his team prepares to take on Arizona

At the moment, the Colts seem to be proceeding with caution and with the understanding that there is no upside in rushing the franchise QB and risking setback.

Setbacks, as we all know, can always happen. A prime example of that is what is going on with Cam Newton. He also had offseason shoulder surgery – one that was far more minor than Luck’s – and he still took time this preseason to acclimate and was even shut down for more than a week during training camp.

In all likelihood, Luck has thrown already as part of his rehabilitation. However, throwing in therapy cannot be compared with throwing on a football field during a football game.

A quarterback must drop back, set his feet, feel and evade pressure, work through route adjustments, and more. In rehab, he plans a throw and makes the throw. In games, he must plan for several throws and choose one while adjusting on the fly.

Those things will take Andrew Luck time to get reacquainted with.

At the moment, the Colts are 1-2 and are being quarterbacked by Jacoby Brissett who was recently acquired in a trade with the Patriots. Even if Jacoby Brissett improves in the next few weeks, the Colts may still have a tough time being in playoff contention by November without Andrew Luck. If that were the case, it might not be worth it for Luck to come back for only a few games if the Colts are out of the playoff picture.

However, Chuck Pagano could be coaching for his job, especially coming off of his team’s lackluster 8-8 records the past two seasons, and one has to believe he’ll be playing Andrew Luck at quarterback with his job on the line.

It’s impossible to know who to believe regarding Luck’s return, so Colts fans are forced to continue to sit and wait.

[Featured Image by Darron Cummings/AP Images]