INDIANAPOLIS – Some 570 days ago, the shoulder problems for Andrew Luck began in one of the finest fourth-quarter performances of his NFL career.
On Monday, Luck opened up on why he felt the need to have right shoulder surgery back in January.
Here's a timeline look at when Luck's shoulder issues began:
- September 27, 2015:The Colts desperately needed a win in Week Three of the 2015 season. Things looked bleak when the Colts were down 27-14 to the Titans halfway through the fourth quarter. But there was Luck going 11-of-13 in the final quarter for 144 yards and two touchdowns. The 35-33 comeback victory saved the early part of the season. But it came with serious repercussions. As Luck said earlier this week, it was that afternoon in Nashville when the shoulder issues began for No. 12. After the first win of 2015, Luck was asked about a grimace caught by CBS cameras when Matt Hasselbeck congratulated him on the sideline. When Luck was asked about his health after the win, he said of the game: "certainly was physical." It's pretty impressive Luck finished the fourth quarter how he did (11-of-13) given the injured throwing shoulder.
- September 30, 2015:The first public sign something was wrong with Luck came on Wednesday of the next week. Luck was limited at practice for the first time in his career. When the Colts signed journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson later in the week, serious doubt crept in on Luck missing his first ever NFL game.
- October 4, 2015:When the inactives were released in Week Four, there was Luck's name appearing on the list for the first time in his four NFL seasons. Recently turned 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck started against the Jaguars and the Colts survived in overtime, squeaking out a 16-13 victory.
- October 8, 2015:Leading into a short week, Luck continued to be limited at practice and did not throw during the open portion of practices. For the second straight week, the Colts kept Luck inactive, and had Hasselbeck/Johnson dressing. Hasselbeck gutted through a bacterial infection to lead the Colts to a 27-20 victory down in Houston on Thursday Night Football.
- October 18, 2015:Following a mini-bye, the Colts welcomed Luck back to practice on a rare Monday session. He returned to game action that week against the New England Patriots. Any questions about Luck's throwing shoulder disappeared after he went 30-of-50 for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
- November 8, 2015:Luck played the next four weeks before his 2015 season ended on a freak injury. Against the Broncos, Luck was sandwiched early in the fourth quarter on a scramble. Luck stayed in the game, but a scan in the days following the win over the Broncos revealed that he had lacerated his kidney. The Colts kept Luck on the active roster for the rest of the season, but he did not see the playing field again in 2015.
- January 4, 2016:In the day following the end of the 2015 season, Luck met the media and offered up what he learned during a season in which he missed more than half the year: "Probably the biggest lesson I've learned this year, is that you have to be healthy on the field. You get too many reps, too much is invested in you as the quarterback to not be out there so you've got to be out there." Luck opted against surgery after the 2015 season, instead embarking on a "very intense rehab" to prepare himself for his fifth NFL campaign.
- June 29, 2016:Some business Luck and the Colts took care of last offseason was the signing of a new six-year, $140 million contract. This came in between the ending of the team's offseason program and Training Camp.
- August 2016:Luck was a full participant throughout the 2016 offseason. He says now that the rehab in 2016 got him to the point where he "could play good football." Luck did sit out the 2016 preseason opener in Buffalo before seeing his normal playing time the following two weeks.
- September 7, 2016:With Luck's shoulder concerns largely an afterthought going into the regular season, after the quarterback looked like his normal self in Training Camp and the preseason, his name popped up on the first injury report of the season. Luck's name being limited on the injury report was a weekly occurrence throughout 2016. Besides the shoulder, Luck also dealt with ankle and thumb ailments.
- November 24, 2016:The only game Luck missed last season was on Thanksgiving night against the Steelers. Luck started feeling concussion like symptoms following the team's Nov. 20 victory over the Titans. On a short week, Luck could not pass through the concussion protocol in time to play. Scott Tolzien started in the 28-7 loss to the Steelers.
- December 5, 2016:Luck had a week and a half of rest after missing the Steelers game. The next week, on Monday Night Football against the Jets, Luck returned to action and had probably his best game of the season. Luck was 22-of-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.
- January 2017:When the 2016 season ended on New Year's Day, it was time for Luck and the Colts to do some research. After gathering all sorts of information, Luck decided that surgery was the best move for his long-term health. "The team gave me all the resources I felt like I needed to make the best decision. This was not an off the cuff thing. I put a lot of thought and effort and time into figuring out the plan moving forward after the season. We sat down after the year, with our guys in this building and talked. Then went out and got a lot of really good opinions from a lot of really good doctors around the country." After being the NFL's most hit quarterback over the last five years, Luck decided that surgery was the way to go this offseason.
- January 19, 2017:Jim Irsay announces that Luck has had surgery. In the tweet, Irsay said: "Andrew recovering from successful outpatient surgery to fix right shoulder injury that had lingered since 2015. Will be ready for season!" Luck had the surgery in California.
- February 19, 2017:A month after Irsay's first tweet, the Owner followed up with saying "#12 is healing…" Luck was in a sling during the early weeks of recovery.
- March 26-29, 2017:At the League Meetings in Arizona, the Colts brass all commented on Luck's recovery. Chuck Pagano admitted the challenges that are there with Luck likely missing some time this offseason. The Colts will not be rushing Luck back so there's a real possibility the first-team offense will work without their starting QB for portions of the offseason program and/or Training Camp.
- April 17, 2017:The Colts reconvened for work on Monday to being their 2017 offseason program. Luck isn’t a full participant though: "There is a plan that involves rehab, that involves lifting and running. There are certain things that I can do with the group and there are certain things that I cannot. I do the best I can within that plan. Certainly, obviously I won't be able to throw. I get that. I am not going to be able to take snaps with the guys and run and handoff and do all that jazz. I am not worried about making anything up. I am just focusing on doing what I can do well." Luck said on Monday that he fully expects to play and be ready for the entire 2017 season.