INDIANAPOLIS —Andrew Luck found himself in an unfamiliar position in recent days: running the Indianapolis Colts' scout team offense in 7-on-7 drills.
It's just the latest step forward in Luck's recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, however, and, according to at least one notable witness, No. 12 was looking just fine.
In fact, after reviewing the tape from Thursday's practice, Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino said Luck was back to his old tricks — and, to Monachino's chagrin, Luck was doing it against his unit.
"He made us look silly a couple times — a couple pump fakes and drew some guys out of coverage," Monachino told reporters on Friday.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said earlier in the week the plan was for Luck to get "five, six snaps of 7-on-7," simulating the Tennessee Titans' offense against the Colts' defense, during practice on Thursday and Saturday, with Luck using Friday as a rehab day. Luck has already been ruled out of Monday night's Colts/Titans game in Nashville.
The 7-on-7 work was the first time in his recovery that Luck had faced a live defense; he returned to the practice field for the first time all year two weeks ago and threw some routes to his receivers, but they were uncovered.
"(I'm starting) to get into environments where all the variables are not controlled, which is obviously football to a certain degree," Luck told reporters before Thursday's practice. "So that's a step."
Luck said he feels he's "getting close to the finish line" in his rehab and recovery, though he declined to "give any credence to any guess on to when that would be." For now, his goal remains to get stronger every day.
"Honestly, I think the next step today is to go out and do some new things in practice," he said. "I think that's part of the next step to see how a full week is, and when that true full football week comes along, then we'll see."
Until then, Monachino will have to continue to contend with his defensive unit preparing against a three-time Pro Bowler running the Colts' scout team offense.
"It didn't look like he was babying himself – I know that," Monachino said of Luck. "He went out there and made some throws down the field and drove a ball in on a short out-cut.
"It was encouraging to see him out there."
Colts @ Titans 2017 - PRACTICE 10/13