INDIANAPOLIS —While much of the talk surrounding Andrew Luck the past 14 months has focused on the quarterback's throwing shoulder, its his lower half that's been the focus of rehab work of late.
That's according to Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who said Luck has progressed very well when it comes to the strength work in his surgically-repaired right shoulder; now Luck is working on methods that can help prevent future issues.
"Now we're just working on (purely) his motion, and more using his lower body. Really tying his lower body into his upper body, which we think is going to take some stress off the shoulder." Ballard told Colts.com this week from the NFL's annual meetings. "It'll be good for him long-term."
Since the end of the 2017 season, Luck has spent a considerable amount of time out in California doing rehab work with noted throwing expert Tom House.
At first, Luck was using weighted balls to work on getting the strength in his shoulder back to where it needed to be, but, as Colts head coach Frank Reich revealed earlier this week, Luck has recently introduced a smaller football into his regimen to eventually begin working his way up to a regulation NFL football.
Ballard said Luck's actual throwing motion shouldn't look much different than it did when he last played in 2016, but the base under him could see some tweaks.
"When you watched him in the past, it would be wide-based; Andrew was using upper body in his throws," Ballard said. "Now being able to tie that lower body in, we think it's going to really help him.
"Right now he's almost gone to even a lighter ball that he's throwing because it's all technique stuff that he's doing, and muscle memory technique, and so just a little, bitty ball and a littler football that he's using to work on that technique."
Luck is set to return to Indianapolis April 9 for the start of the Colts' offseason workout program — their first under Reich and his new staff. Ballard said it'll be a tremendous opportunity for the quarterback to continue checking off the boxes in his rehab and working his way back to 100 percent.
"We're going to ease him back in," Ballard said. "We're not just going to have Andrew start throwing 150 balls — that's crazy. But we like where he's at right now. We like where he's training. We like his look right now — I mean, he looks great when you see him; mentally he's in a great spot. And we'll just continue to ease him back in and get him going having a big-picture view and making sure we're monitoring every day what he's doing, and go from there."