INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Might, possibly, could, a chance, no guarantees.
That’s the updated forecast(s) from Chuck Pagano on the possibility of the Indianapolis Colts’ rehabbing quarterback – Andrew Luck – practicing for the first time Wednesday.
Luck hasn’t practiced with his teammates since the last week of December and hasn’t played since the Colts’ season-ending Jan. 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. He’s been in rehab mode since undergoing surgery in mid-January to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Pagano ruled Luck out of Sunday night’s meeting with the Seahawks in Seattle, but it appears he’s on the verge of taking the next major step in his rehab process. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBS4 Sunday that Luck might practice this week, and Pagano – in his own way – seemed to reinforce that a day later.
“Andrew (is) progressing well, getting stronger,’’ he said Monday. “There might be a chance. I’ll know more on Wednesday. He might be able to start some practice this week.
“But I’m not guaranteeing nothing so don’t write anything that he’s going to be out there. There’s a possibility. When our doctors and our trainers tell me that he’s at a point he can get back out there and practice, I’ll be able to tell you for sure.’’
That’s by far the most encouraging comments from Pagano regarding the status of the team’s $140 million quarterback. Previously, he denied having seen Luck throw a football and insisted the media knew as much about Luck’s situation as he did.
When Luck does return, it will be on a limited basis and the vast majority of his repetitions will be with the scout team. The Colts still must give Jacoby Brissett as much work with the first unit as possible as long as he’s the starter.
“I think you’d integrate him back into practice just like we did Vontae (Davis) last week,’’ Pagano said. “He got all his reps on the ‘card’ team.’’
That’s the scout team, which mirrors the upcoming opponent and works against the starting offensive and defensive units.
Pagano’s playful nature surfaced when a follow-up question dealt with Luck initially running the scout offense.
“You guys want him back at practice, now you’re bitching about who he’s gonna be practicing with?’’ Pagano said with a smile. “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. C’mon.’’
Once it’s determined Luck is ready to start, he’ll regain control of the first unit in practice.
“There’s going to be a period of time where he just needs practice, get back to playing football,’’ Pagano said.
It’s doubtful Luck will be ready for the Oct. 8 game against the San Francisco 49ers. A more likely return would be Oct. 16 at Tennessee or Oct. 22 at home against Jacksonville.
A return against the Titans would come on ESPN’s Monday night stage and where Luck initially suffered the injury to his right shoulder. He acknowledged he sustained the injury in week 3 of the 2015 at Tennessee in a 35-33 victory.
Davis (groin) is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Seahawks. He has missed the first three games with a groin injury.
Center Ryan Kelly, who’s missed the first three games with a broken bone in his foot, might return to practice Wednesday on a limited basis. He admitted in the locker room he’ll need some time to get into football shape. He hasn’t practiced since suffering the injury Aug. 10.
Also, wide receiver Kamar Aiken is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s win over Cleveland.
Pagano said running back Marlon Mack (shoulder) and wideout Chester Rogers (hamstring) remain week-to-week, and labeled cornerback Quincy Wilson (knee) and linebacker Anthony Walker (hamstring) “questionable.’’