WESTFIELD, Ind. – Another training camp practice unfolded Thursday without Andrew Luck – that’s three straight and four of the last five – but that didn’t mean he’s simply rehabbing his strained left calf.
Away from eyes of a curious media and the Indianapolis Colts’ anxious fan base, the veteran quarterback is doing as much as possible to prepare for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s spending time with the medical/rehab staff and with throwing guru Tom House, who’s at Grand Park Sports Campus.
“He’s getting some good work,’’ Frank Reich said Thursday. “First of all, some good rehab. He’s inside working with Tom House working on some stuff. That’s been really good. It’s been really positive.’’
Until his stubborn calf injury allows him to resume running the No. 1 offense in practice, Luck is concentrating on the daily walk-throughs.
“Right now, walk-throughs are my practice,’’ he said this week.
Generally, that consists of about 60 scripted plays – “Over one a minute. It’s almost like you’re in a game,’’ Reich said – and they’re divvied up among the quarterbacks.
For now, though, Luck is taking them all “because he’s not out (at practice),’’ Reich said. “That’s an hour. It’s his practice.
“It’s not as good as being out here at practice, but in some ways its really good and we get a lot out of it.’’
Reich’s approach is all about maximizing every walk-through. It clearly lacks the tempo of a normal practice, but players are challenged to treat it as if they were in the Super Bowl.
“We have this phrase: We’re live until the snap or it’s game speed until the snap,’’ Reich said. “What we mean by that is ‘We’re in the huddle and you should think you’re in the Super Bowl. At 3:40, we’ve got a Super Bowl game.’
“Andrew’s really good at putting himself in that moment. We want the body language, the tone of his voice in the huddle . . . it’s amazing (the) science behind this. You can fool your nervous system into thinking this is real. That’s what we want Andrew and the whole team to do. ‘This is live reps.’
“It’s not physically live, but in every other way it’s live. You can get so much done there. Andrew’s doing a phenomenal job with that.’’
The players have Friday off and return to the practice fields Saturday. Reich said no one has discussed yet whether Luck’s rehab will allow him to participate in this weekend’s work.
Veteran tight end Jack Doyle was one of several Colts held out of Thursday’s practice. The culprit: an oblique injury. Doyle is on the mend after undergoing kidney and hip surgery.
“It’s not a major concern,’’ Reich said. “We don’t want to rush it with him. It’s just a question of getting him physically right.
“I said to him the other day, ‘Let’s use this as a positive.’ It just gives him more time to get his strength back, more time to recover. He’ll be ready to go.’’
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