INDIANAPOLIS —Whenever Andrew Luck is good to go, he will play.
That was the message this week from Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who said the team's record or standing at the point Luck is officially cleared from offseason shoulder surgery will have no bearing on when No. 12 hits the field for the first time since the 2016 regular season finale.
Earlier this season, Pagano was asked if he believed Luck would be able to play this year, and the answer was, 'Yes.' On Wednesday, Pagano was once again asked if he anticipated if there will be a time Luck — who has missed the last two weeks of practice after experiencing some soreness in his right shoulder — will be ready to play this season.
"Nothing has changed," Pagano said.
The reporter followed up: will the wins and losses affect the organizations decision to play Luck?
Luck, who underwent surgery to his throwing shoulder in January, was able to participate in practice — albeit in a limited fashion — for the first time in 2017 three weeks ago; two weeks ago he faced a live defense for the first time this year, as he took "six or seven snaps" as the scout team quarterback in 7-on-7 drills, Pagano said.
But last week, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said after Luck experienced some soreness in his right shoulder, the team decided to give the quarterback a cortisone injection and shut him down for the time being.
Pagano confirmed on Monday that Luck would not return to the practice field this week.
Ballard, who said he didn't think Luck's absence from practice would be long, didn't want to speculate when asked if he believed Luck would be able to play in a game this season, however.
"I'm not going to put a timeline on that right now," said Ballard, who added that, as of last week, the team had no thoughts of placing Luck on Injured Reserve to open up a roster spot.
Luck was also hesitant to put a timeline on his return when he last talked to reporters two weeks ago, but said "part of the next step (is) to see how a full week is, and when that true full football week comes along, then we'll see."
He said sticking to the plan all along has been critical to his recovery.
"I appreciate it, obviously, all the help that's been given to me through the club and (from) everybody else," Luck said. "I think we're progressing along the plan nicely, and it would be foolish to start getting close to the finish line and skipping the little things."