INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Frank Reich wanted to discuss the conclusion of the OTA portion of the Indianapolis Colts’ offseason work, but found himself discussing two players who weren’t on the practice field.
That would be Andrew Luck.
And Chris McCain.
While the Colts went through Thursday’s practice under a searing sun and rising temperatures, Luck worked elsewhere at the complex on his on-going rehab from surgery on his right shoulder. There was a mutual agreement between the team and McCain for the veteran defensive end to not participate in practice until details of a Jan. 7 incident in California – two misdemeanor battery charges recently were filed against him – are fully determined.
Not surprisingly, a good portion of Reich’s post-practice press conference focused on the team’s non-throwing $140 million quarterback.
“Just continuing to make great progress. Not good progress, (but) great progress in every way,’’ he said.
Every way, that is, except throwing a football. Luck’s regimen hasn’t advanced to that level yet, although Reich insisted Luck is “real close’’ to resuming what he does best but hasn’t done since mid-October.
The team altered Luck’s workout schedule last week, pulling him from participating in the early portion of practice to allow him to concentrate on other areas of his rehab. That apparently will continue during next week’s three-day mandatory minicamp.
“As of right now it’s going to be just the way we’re rolling,’’ Reich said. “But again, it’s a day-to-day thing, and if at some point that changes, then he’ll let us know and we’ll talk it through.’’
Luck made it clear in early April he would see limited participation in the team’s offseason work, and that his goal was to be throwing without limitation when training camp opened in late July.
“I don’t anticipate doing too much or you guys seeing me doing too much out there,’’ he said, “but I really want to be ready for training camp without the governor on.’’
The team’s medical and rehab staff will offer input on Luck’s progress, but the ultimate decision on when he resumes throwing rests with Luck.
“He certainly has a big say in it. He has to,’’ Reich said. “You’ve got to trust the player, especially a player that’s been around the block a few likes like he has and undergone what he’s gone through.
“He’s got a very big voice in that, as he should.’’
Reich added Luck will know when it’s time to clear that final physical hurdle.
“I can sit here and say what I think, but it’s got to come from down in here,’’ he said, tapping on his chest. “There’s an instinct as a player that you know when you’re ready to go.’’
McCain’s situation surfaced earlier this week when it was reported two misdemeanor battery charges had been filed against him. The team released a statement Tuesday insisting it was in the process of “gathering all available information.’’
McCain steadfastly denied the allegations in comments to IndyStar.
“She’s lying,’’ he said of his accuser.
McCain is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles on July 13.
“We’re in the information-gathering process,’’ Reich said. “That’s important. I just think it would be irresponsible to jump to any quick conclusions either way.’’
Even so, a follow-up comment from Reich seemed to send a serious message to all of his players.
“As an organization in general, we’ve talked a lot about as a team that respect is something very important to us,’’ he said. “As a team, as an organization it’s one of our values.
“As players, we want to be role models in the community, so respect is very important. It’s everybody in the building. Everyone is held to the same standard, so any violation of that code in general terms would be something to be taken seriously.’’
The Colts signed McCain to a one-year, $709,000 contract in early May. He is expected to compete for significant playing time as coordinator Matt Eberflus utilizes a deep rotation with his defensive line.