Andrew Luck missed the entire 2017 NFL season due to a shoulder injury, but the Indianapolis Colts are expecting to have their franchise quarterback back healthy in 2018. Without him on the field, the Colts have struggled in a big way. Now, the Colts have begun a new era of football with head coach Frank Reich taking over the reigns and the franchise needs their quarterback to return to his Pro Bowl level.
Back in the 2016 season, Luck played in 15 games and showed off a much-improved all-around game. He completed 63.5 percent of his pass attempts for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Those numbers made the franchise extremely excited about the future.
Unfortunately, the shoulder injury changed everything and even sparked some reports that Luck’s career could be in jeopardy. Those rumors seem to be a bit far-fetched and Luck appears ready to make his return this season, even though he isn’t actively throwing a football just yet.
Bleacher Report is currently predicting that Luck will be just fine to play in 2018. While they may be predicting him to play, although maybe not all 16 regular season games, they are also projecting him to have a tough season. Indianapolis can only hope that they are right about him playing, but are wrong about his statistics.
“Projected Passing Stats: 465 attempts, 285 completions, 3,317 yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
“Projected Rushing Stats: 39 carries, 217 yards, 1 touchdown.”
I know it's been mentioned several times how different Andrew Luck looks physique wise this spring.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) May 24, 2018
Here's a picture of that.
Luck is listed at 240 pounds on the roster. John Simon is listed at 250 pounds. pic.twitter.com/KfKYGO8XVs
Seeing those numbers would be a bittersweet thing for Colts fans. Happiness would surround the situation due to having Luck back on the field, but those numbers are nowhere near franchise quarterback numbers. If he had that kind of season, rumors would immediately begin flying that Luck’s career as we knew it was over.
At 28 years of age, Luck is in the middle of his prime and must get back on the field this season. The Colts cannot help but feel that they have wasted the majority of his prime thus far. Injuries have played a major factor in that time period, but Reich and company still firmly believe that Luck can be the guy to lead the franchise to another Super Bowl.
Reich is bringing a new offense to Indianapolis that he believes will fit Luck perfectly. Moving on from Chuck Pagano at this point in time might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Luck’s career. Chris Ballard also went out and beefed up the offensive line this offseason to help keep Luck upright and safe.
Expect to see the Colts get back to being a much more competitive team this season. Bleacher Report may end up being right, but fans in Indianapolis should expect just a bit more than those above projections are predicting.