There were multiple factors that led to Josh McDaniels backing out of the Colts head coaching job, but one of them may have been Andrew Luck’s health.
Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury has set this franchise back at least a year, and it may have been a contributing factor in Josh McDaniels’ decision to stay in New England.
Getting a healthy Andrew Luck in 2018 would make Indianapolis one of the most attractive destination for NFL head coaching candidates this offseason. However, getting a healthy Luck next season was never guarantee, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter is hinting that it may have played a role in McDaniels’ bizarre move.
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We will probably never know all of the exact reasons why Josh McDaniels backed out on a deal when the Colts’ statement said they had reached an agreement for him to become the next head coach.
Schefter reported that Patriots owner Robert Kraft sweetened McDaniels’ contract to stay in New England. There also may be a succession plan in place for McDaniels to take over as the Patriots’ next head coach when Bill Belichick decides to retire. Or McDaniels could just be content being a coordinator in the near future while he gets to work with Tom Brady.
All of these factors may have been swimming in McDaniels’ mind this week, but it’s hard to believe he would turn down the Colts’ offer if he had an assurance that he’d be getting a completely healthy Andrew Luck. The Colts’ organization could not have any more uncertainty surrounding it right now, and Luck’s continuing shoulder problems may have cost them a head coaching candidate.