After an investigation into the Indianapolis Colts' handling and reporting of quarterback Andrew Luck's injury status during the 2015 season, the NFL decided Sunday that no action will be taken against the organization.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the league's decision.
Luck missed nine games this season with myriad injuries, but the NFL looked into the situation after Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that the quarterback played with multiple fractured ribs—an ailment that was never listed on the injury report, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
The 26-year-old former No. 1 overall pick missed the final two months of the campaign with a kidney laceration and abdominal tear. He also reportedly dealt with a shoulder separation in addition to the rib injury.
Indianapolis was in contention for a playoff spot until the final week of the season despite Luck's absence, so there is certainly some optimism surrounding the team in 2016.
A return to the 46-total-touchdown form that Luck displayed in 2014 would go a long way toward getting the Colts back to the top of the AFC South, and team owner Jim Irsay doesn't believe health will stand in his way, per Mike Chappell of CBS Indianapolis.
"He's good to go. He's healed," Irsay said. "He's really looking forward to a great offseason and getting ready (for 2016). If we were playing in the Super Bowl, he'd be ready, let's put it that way."
According to Chappell, Irsay also intends to sign Luck to a long-term deal as soon as possible since he is set to enter the final year of his contract:
I think there's a good chance we would get something done this offseason. Being this early, there's no reason to think we have had major negotiations yet, but that's going to be happening as this month gets later and March comes in. I don't think there's a debate on what he means to our franchise. I really see Andrew here, God willing, for a really long time.
Now that the Luck injury situation is fully behind the Colts in every capacity, they can fully focus on returning to the playoffs after missing them for the first time since 2011.
Head coach Chuck Pagano's somewhat surprising return creates stability, but the impending return of Luck is truly what takes Indianapolis from a run-of-the-mill team to a potential Super Bowl contender.
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