INDIANAPOLIS — No. 12 is officially making his return to the practice field.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who has been working his way back since January surgery to his throwing shoulder, will indeed practice this week for the first time all year, general manager Chris Ballard confirmed on Monday in an appearance on 1070 The Fan's "Colts Roundtable Live."
"Andrew's doing good. He's doing really good," Ballard told host Bob Lamey. "I've watched him throw; watched him throw the ball, and he's starting to really get his motion back, getting his lower body to start working with his upper body, which he's worked really hard on, and his strength levels are getting back to where they need to be.
"We'll slowly start working him back into practice this week."
Just how much of a practice workload Luck gets from the outset is yet to be determined. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Monday that there's no expectation Luck will "come back out and take all the first-team reps and play 50, 60, 70 snaps in practice a day" in his first week back, however.
The primary focus, for now, is to make sure Jacoby Brissett is getting all the reps he needs to continue preparing as the team's starting quarterback, and then the Colts will eventually "integrate (Luck) back into practice," Pagano said.
"So like anybody else, (he'll) do some individual (drills), throw some routes versus air, stay with his throwing progression and (we'll) bring him along," he continued.
Then, Ballard said, "as we can get (Luck) incorporated back into team work and all that, we'll get him back on the field."
Brissett has started the last three games for the Colts (1-3), and has completed 55-of-93 passes (59.1 percent) for 683 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also been a factor running the ball, as he has logged 14 carries for 69 yards (4.9 yards per carry) with two touchdowns on the ground, as well.
Acquired just a month ago in a trade with the New England Patriots, Ballard said he's been impressed with the second-year North Carolina State product.
In fact, Brissett has actually surpassed his GM's expectations to this point.
"I knew that he was a top-flight human being, stood for everything we wanted to stand for in terms of both on-the-field and off-the-field character, smart, tough, had a lot of upside talent," Ballard said. "I think it's better than I thought it was going to be. Jacoby's got some really special attributes in terms of his work ethic, his poise, he's a natural leader; he's got a lot of great qualities that you want in a quarterback."