INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two of Andrew Luck’s primary pitch-and-catch partners aren’t in panic mode as the preseason continues to unfold without his on-field participation.
Three-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton and sidekick Phillip Dorsett are confident they won’t need much time to reconnect with their QB once he’s cleared to practice. Luck remains on the physically unable to perform list while completing his rehab from a January shoulder surgery.
And, remember, the Colts open the season Sept. 10 against the Rams in Los Angeles. The last time Luck delivered a pass was Jan. 1 against Jacksonville in last season’s finale.
“We just need a day or two,’’ Hilton said Wednesday. “We’ll be fine.
“We know each other. We’ll be all right.’’
Added Dorsett: “Me, T.Y., Donte (Moncrief) Chester (Rogers) have all played with him. When he gets back I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a lot of throwing sessions with him.
“I think we can get back up to speed.’’
We’ll see. The extra throwing sessions might be an issue since the team undoubtedly will monitor Luck’s practice workload once the doctors turn him loose.
Owner Jim Irsay reaffirmed after Sunday’s preseason loss to Detroit the team’s position Luck will be taken off PUP before the end of preseason. At the latest, that decision must be made by Sept. 2, when rosters are cut to 53. If Luck remains on PUP at that time, he would have to miss at least the first six games of the season.
“I can’t say that unequivocally he’ll be ready for the Rams game,’’ Irsay said. “But I feel very confident he’ll be ready to start the season (on the active roster).
“There hasn’t been one surprise to (Luck’s rehab) from our standpoint. We always knew it was going to be a borderline thing.’’
What can’t be overlooked is how PUP works and how that process impacts Luck’s ability to reconnect with his receivers.
According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, there are strict rules for what’s allowed for players on PUP. Those include:
- Non-contact rehab work under the supervision of trainers and/or physicians.
- Another player cannot be part of that work. Luck cannot throw to Hilton, Dorsett or any other teammate. Pads and helmets cannot be worn.
- Players on PUP are not allowed to participate in any on-field practice sessions.
- Players are permitted to attend meetings and practice, but again, cannot participate in practice.