Quarterback Andrew Luck believes playing Week 1 is a realistic expectation even after the Indianapolis Colts announced he would miss another week with a calf injury.
Luck told Peter King of NBC that he is planning for be in the lineup when the regular season begins Sept. 8 in Los Angeles against the Chargers.
“I certainly believe I will [be ready],” Luck told King. “That’s certainly the goal. . . . At times I do worry about it. It can be frustrating. The arc of an injury, whether it’s a big surgical one or something you’re rehabbing through. But no, because I’ve improved. Maybe I’m not improving as fast as I want and missing things is no fun. It eats at you. But I do know at the end of the day if I’m getting the most out of myself, if I’m being the best I can that day, then that’s what I need to do.”
Luck missed all of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. He had surgery after originally trying to overcome the injury through treatment and rehabilitation.
The calf injury, Luck said, popped up in April and the team described it as a strain. King reported Monday that Luck has had three MRI exams on the calf, and none revealed anything of concern.
Head coach Frank Reich, starting his second season with the Colts and a former NFL backup quarterback himself, said he plans to have Luck but will prepare backup Jacoby Brissett accordingly.
“I really don’t lay awake at night thinking about it,” Reich told King. “When our players have injuries, I’m not the guy who’s asking every five minutes how they’re doing. That’s just the way I am. Part of that is because I think my 14 years of experience as a player ... I know he wants to be there as bad as anybody. Me asking him every five minutes how he’s doing doesn’t help anything.”
Then again, Luck is at the center of what Reich believes could be a video-game productive offense in 2019.
“I don’t know if he’s ever been in an offense that wants to turn him loose like we’re going to turn him loose this year,” Reich said. “I use this illustration. It’s like if you’re playing a video game and there’s all these easy targets, worth 100 points. Every now and then there’s this little target that pops up and it just flashes for a brief second. It’s really small. That’s worth 1,000 points. And in NFL football, that’s what happens all the time. These little targets come up. The great ones can hit those 1,000-point targets. As a coach, I don’t know when they’re going to come up. Only he knows. So you want a guy pulling the trigger who can see them and know when it’s worth it to try to hit them, then go for them.”
—Field Level Media