Andrew Luck has been one of the most talked about players in the NFL throughout the offseason. He is on his way back from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the entire 2017 season. The Indianapolis Colts suffered through a rough season, but couldn’t be more excited to have their franchise quarterback back on the field.
Rumors have swirled all offseason long that the injury could end up being the beginning of the end to Luck’s career. Indianapolis, on the other hand, has been adamant that Luck will come back just fine.
In the 2016 season, Luck looked to be developing in the right direction. He completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. There were still some complaints from the Colts’ fan base about his interception numbers, but it was a step in the right direction.
Now, as a 28-year-old franchise quarterback, Luck will need to prove himself once again. Jim Irsay certainly thinks the Colts will be a force to be reckoned with if Luck can stay healthy, as noted by ESPN.
“There’s still holes in the roster, still areas we have to strengthen up and we don’t question that, but man oh man, I tell you, we’re a lot better of a football team. It’s going to be interesting to see how much better we are. Look, I’ll be honest with you, if Andrew Luck, if he’s healthy and we think he will be, we’re going to have a pretty formidable football team. That’s just the bottom line.”
Chris Ballard made a point in the 2018 NFL Draft to protect Luck. Drafting Notre Dame offensive lineman Quenton Nelson in the first round is a huge step in the right direction. Indianapolis also signed both Matt Slauson and Austin Howard to help protect Luck.
Just a few short years ago, the Colts were one of the top teams in the NFL. Luck and company went all the way to the AFC Championship Game, but ended up falling to the New England Patriots. Irsay and company are hoping to get back to that point again in the near future.
The Colts moved on from Peyton Manning to draft Andrew Luck in 2012. Here's how the QBs fared since then.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) April 30, 2018
That being said, what should the Colts and the faithful fans expect from Luck this coming season?
Quite simply, Luck is going to return to the form that Colts fans are used to. He isn’t going to come into the season and miss time again. Luck is healthy and is moving forward in the right direction at the speed that the Colts were hoping he would.
Indianapolis didn’t make too many additions to their offense outside of the offensive line. Donte Moncrief left town in free agency, and the Colts replaced him with free agent receiver Ryan Grant. T.Y. Hilton is still in town and the Colts have a couple talented tight ends in Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle for Luck to work with.
Marlon Mack is currently projected to be the starting running back in 2018. He showed big-play potential in 2017 as a rookie, but there are some fans who are worried about his ability to be an every-down back.
Fans should expect to see Luck throw for around 3,800 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions this season. If Mack isn’t able to shoulder a heavy load, Luck could easily surpass the 4,000-yard mark.
Luck may not be able to lead the Colts back to the playoffs this season, but they shouldn’t be counted out. The AFC South is much more difficult than it was back in 2016, with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars both being contenders in the AFC. Tennessee has also improved this offseason.
Expect to see Luck shut his critics up this season. Indianapolis needs their star quarterback to get back to form and he will be able to do just that.