INDIANAPOLIS —Andrew Luck won't play this week, but he could soon find his way onto the practice field for the first time all year.
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Monday that Luck, who has been working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, has already been ruled out of this Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, but he isn't yet dismissing the possibility that Luck could start practicing at some point during the week.
"He's progressing well, getting stronger," said Pagano, who cautioned that the team doctors still need to clear Luck before he can make a return to the practice field.
Luck last saw the field for the Colts on Jan. 1, when he helped lead Indianapolis to a 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 regular season finale at Lucas Oil Stadium. He underwent surgery to his throwing shoulder later that month.
The Colts have gone 1-2 so far this season in Luck's absence, dropping their first two games to the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals before earning victory No. 1 of the year on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
The team initially went with veteran backup Scott Tolzien to start the season at quarterback, but have since turned to second-year North Carolina State product Jacoby Brissett — whom the Colts acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots on Sept. 2 — to start its last two games.
Brissett continued to show his growth and progress learning the Colts' offense against the Browns, completing 17-of-24 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown, while also collecting two scores on the ground.
"It's a really good defensive unit that they have and I thought he managed things well, protected the ball and he made big plays," Pagano said of Brissett on Sunday. "He's growing, he'll continue to grow, continue to get better. We'll continue to add as much as we can add and not overdo it to give him some more tools in his toolbox. He did a nice job."
As for Luck's potential return to the starting lineup, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said before the start of the regular season that "we want to incorporate him back into practice" before those decisions are made.
That process could begin as soon as this week.
"He hasn't been able to practice and I think Andrew would tell you, 'Hey, I want to get back to where I can practice every day; I can throw to our receivers every day; I can feel the pocket and feel the pressure every day,'" Ballard said of Luck. "That's why I'm being a little extra conservative here, to where I want to make sure when we get Andrew back he can practice every day. It'll be a little bit of a process to get him to that, but we will. We don't want to jeopardize a little short term here over the long haul. Andrew is a young player still and we've got to have a long-term view here of where we're going."