While team owner Jim Irsay finally broke his silence for something significant, it was to surprisingly relay that starting quarterback Andrew Luck has undergone surgery on his right throwing shoulder and is recovering–but will be ready for the start of the 2017 season:
Nevertheless, it should cost Luck at least most of the team’s offseason program and potentially even the start of training camp:
It’s worth noting that Luck had been listed on the injury report with a lingering ‘right shoulder’ injury all season since Week 1 and had been held out of weekly practices more than in prior seasons–which was said to be ‘routine maintenance’.
It also contradicts an earlier statement from Irsay that insisted that there were ‘no plans for surgery‘ on Luck’s right throwing shoulder a month ago and that the Colts quarterback was seemingly healthy.
Obviously, keeping Luck healthy and upright remains a significant issue for the Colts going forward.
The 27 year old quarterback already missed a game this season because of a concussion, while missing 9 games last season due to a number of injuries (including a lacerated kidney, which to be fair, was actually Luck’s fault for not properly sliding on a quarterback scramble).
While the team invested a first round pick in center Ryan Kelly and drafted three other offensive lineman in last year’s NFL Draft, their pass protection continued to be a major deficiency–although through no fault of Kelly, who was rock solid in the middle.
[Not to mention, the team even brought in a new offensive line coach Joe Philbin to improve matters.]
Specifically, the Colts allowed the 5th most sacks with 44 total sacks and the 2nd most QB hits at 128 total QB Hits this past season, while Luck remained one of the most pressured passers in the NFL.
Some of that is self-inflicted, as Luck has held onto the football too long at times; however, the right side of the Colts offensive line remains an issue going forward–even if their rookies such as Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark showed some flashes late in the season.
The Colts offense could also incorporate shorter, quicker throws into their offensive play-calling which would alleviate some of the exorbitant amount of QB hits on Luck.
That being said, the fact that Luck is recovering from right shoulder surgery isn’t a positive sign for the Colts and only adds more salt to the wounds of what was a disappointing season.
He’s the team’s franchise player and the highest paid player in NFL history, so the Colts absolutely have to protect their long-term investment and mitigate the unnecessary amount of hits he’s undertaken in recent seasons to ensure that Luck is healthy going forward.