Andrew Luck is finally returning to practice this week, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said on WFNI 1070 AM on Monday, according to ESPN. However, he won’t be playing Sunday against San Francisco.
“We'll slowly start working him back into practice this week,” Ballard said. “We'll see how much he gets. But we've got a plan in place to where we want him to start getting him reps, and then in time, as we can get him incorporated back into team work and all that, we'll get him back on the field.”
So just how slow are the Colts going? Seems their plan is precise:
Luck will not practice tomorrow. Rehab only. Then he will return on Friday. They have a very specific schedule.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) October 4, 2017
Here was Luck doing his individual drills on Wednesday:
Andrew Luck back at practice. His first pass is in the books. pic.twitter.com/d7nT8BgJ6V— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 4, 2017
Luck’s return has been the biggest question for the Colts since he had his surgery in January. He was taken off the PUP list to start the regular season, but there was no clear path to when he would return.
Coach Chuck Pagano said that Luck’s going to be limited, even in practice, during his return.
“Everybody has to understand he's not going to come back and take all the first-team reps and play 50, 60, 70 snaps in practice a day,'' Pagano said. “We have to integrate him back into practice. Like anybody else, do some individual, throw some routes versus air, stay with his throwing progression and bring him along. Again, it'd be great just to have him out there with his teammates, red jersey on, working again.”
Luck initially injured the shoulder during the 2015 season. Since he missed the start of the season, Scott Tolzien started in his place, only to be replaced by Jacoby Brissett after Tolzien’s poor performance against the Rams.
The Colts are 1-3 on the season and have games against the 49ers, Titans, and Jaguars coming up. The 49ers game is winnable, but with two division games coming up, they’ll hope to get Luck on the field as soon as possible.