INDIANAPOLIS – The weekend off clearly did Andrew Luck some good.
Luck was back to practice on Monday, a positive step as he progresses through the concussion protocol.
Chuck Pagano said that, barring no setbacks, he expects Luck will play in the team's next game, Monday (Dec. 5) against the Jets.
During the open media portion of Monday's practice, Luck participated in the team's individual drills, throwing to his receivers and tight ends.
What Luck did on Monday was the next step in the concussion protocol. He was a non-contact participant.
Up next for Luck is a full contact practice on Wednesday (which is hard to define because quarterbacks don't take on contact at practice).
If Luck makes it through that and then gains clearance from an independent neurologist, he will be good to go for Monday Night Football in New York.
"Feel great," Luck said after his first practice in more than a week. "One hundred percent. Ready to go."
Luck said that he began to feel better late last week.
His role against the Steelers was to provide help to Scott Tolzien and the rest of the offense.
The short-term nature of Luck's concussion, compared to last year's kidney injury, was one of the main differences in his sideline role this time around.
"Most of the time last year, I knew I wasn't coming back in for X-amount of time," Luck said on Monday.
"This was, 'Okay, I need to get ready for next week.'"
The first ever concussion for Luck is expected to only keep him sidelined for one game.
Luck did not want to speculate about him possibly playing last week had the game fallen on a normal Sunday.
"You have to be prudent with your brain and have to do things by the book," Luck says. "I think I have, and our trainers and doctors have, done a great job of informing and holding my hand along this trip.
"As far as rushing back or not rushing back, I don't think it applies. You are back when you are back."
No. 12 was back on Monday as he nears the final stages of the concussion protocol.
Such a return comes at a time when the Colts embark on a push for the playoffs.
The Colts are one of three AFC South teams separated by just a game for the divisional lead.
And it's the Colts on the verge of having their franchise quarterback under center again with the final month of the season just days away.
"Andrew is a special player," tight end Dwayne Allen said on Monday. "It doesn't matter what he's doing at that time, as long as he's on the field, you know you got a chance to win. You just have that confidence about yourself.
"He seems good to go and we look forward to having him Monday night."