INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck has taken the next step forward in his throwing program.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback today was throwing a lighter football during the early portion of the team's first of three mandatory minicamp practices, signaling another positive step towards Luck's goal of being completely ready to go by the start of training camp:
Luck, who underwent shoulder surgery after the conclusion of the 2016 season, last threw a regulation NFL football in October, when he was a limited participant during a select few practice sessions in his attempt to work his way back to the field during the 2017 regular season. But by Nov. 2, after experiencing pain in his throwing shoulder, the team decided to shut the quarterback down and place him on Injured Reserve.
Since that time, according to Colts general manager Chris Ballard, Luck has focused on a much more intense rehab regimen that has seen both an increase in his upper-body strength, as well as a reconfigured throwing base — both of which are expected to help alleviate the stress on his shoulder.
Earlier this year, Luck introduced weighted balls, as well as smaller footballs, into his workouts, and he said he would continue methodically working his way through his rehab work with hopes of being ready to go for training camp by late-July.
"I want to go into training camp without a governor on in my mind on anything and feeling really, really good," Luck told reporters on April 9.
Off the field, both head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said Luck has been fully ingrained into the installation of the team's new offensive playbook, and because of his work in the classroom — and because of Luck's intangibles as both an athlete and a leader — they don't anticipate much of an adjustment once No. 12 does officially work his way back to a larger role in practices.
"I mean, I'm not going to say it's not going to be challenging – this is the NFL. You want to be at the top of your game in every aspect," Reich said May 30. "Mentally, he's learning the offense. Not getting the reps, obviously every rep is important, but I've experienced what it's like to be a backup and not get reps and still have to go in there and play. I know it can be done. Obviously he's got elite level ability mentally and physically in every way. He's been around a few years now, so I'm just very confident that when he starts taking reps that things will accelerate very quickly."