INDIANAPOLIS —Simply by being seen throwing a football this week at Indianapolis Colts' mandatory minicamp practices, Andrew Luck was able to answer a lot of lingering questions about where he was in the rehab process with his surgically-repaired right shoulder.
And now that the Colts' offseason workout program is officially in the books, Luck has a few more critical boxes to check off the list on his own over the next six weeks if he wants to report back for training camp on July 25 and, as planned, be ready to be a full participant in training camp practices.
In fact, head coach Frank Reich on Thursday pinpointed four particular areas in which Luck will work over the next six weeks to slowly begin working his way back to more of normal practice routine.
"You go from where you're throwing pretty stationary, not a whole lot of movement," Reich said. "Then some of your movement throws; then you're spotting receivers up and you're throwing to spots; and then the next step after that is throwing competitive throws to receivers who are running full speed.
"We certainly would need to work to get that in before the return."
Because league rules limit interactions between teams and their players during the period between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp, the players oftentimes take it upon themselves to get together and work out on their own to ensure they hit the ground running when camp begins.
Reich said he'll "just check in from time to time and see" how Luck is feeling and progressing, but at this point, his "course is charted and the plan is set." Reich doesn't need to even think about whether or not his quarterback will put in the work to be ready to go.
So, in other words, don't be surprised if Luck calls up some of the other Colts receivers — and maybe even his other connections from across the league — and hosts some sort of "throwing camp" to work on his progressions.
"That's what you love (as) the coach, when you have that kind of leadership," Reich said. "This isn't like college. We don't have to organize that for them. We've got leaders on the team who know what it takes. He knows what he has to do to get ready. Every place I've been, guys like that get guys together for a couple days here, a couple days there, a week here and get done what needs to get done."
Luck said he recently began embarking upon a plan that will routinely see him throwing four days a week. By simulating the number of throws he would typically make during a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during a normal week during the regular season, and then letting it really fly on Sundays, like he would in a game, Luck hopes to get his body adjusted to that same routine by the time training camp hits.
"So that's what I'm preparing for, that's why right now I throw Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Fridays to mimic a three-day sort of practice week and then a Friday as a Sunday as a game week," Luck said on Tuesday. "That's the sort of big picture I'm preparing for and the goal certainly, more short term, is to be ready to go for training camp. To be able to not just participate, but get better, get the team better. Go and see what we can make this year's Colts."