This moment was also in 2017. This was the year of the fated injury. Andrew Luck started the season on the PUP, but the team was confident he’d be fine. He didn’t participate in training camp, but was still expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
That didn’t happen. Luck was then ruled out for the first two weeks, so they had to improvise. The Colts started Scott Tolzien in their opener, and that was a disaster. Once they saw that, they traded for Jacoby Brissett and immediately moved him into the starting role.
Even though they traded for Brissett, Irsay kept saying Luck was coming back. He had promised season ticket holders that he would be back for the season. Then in October, it was announced that he was placed on IR and would miss the entire season and would undergo another surgery.
Luck had to repair a torn rotator cuff as well as some tendons in his bicep. This was the second surgery on his shoulder, and it sent the franchise into a tailspin. While Brissett played as well as could be expected under the circumstances, the Colts finished with a 4-12 record.
That record was good enough for the 3rd overall pick. They then traded that for the 6th overall pick, which they used to draft Quenton Nelson who turned out to be an All-Pro in his rookie year. But the Luck injury scared everyone within the organization.
This next moment helped close the book on one of the most successful eras of the team and ushered in a new one.