Andrew Luck Reportedly May Miss 1st 6 Games Due to Shoulder Injury

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2017

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck talks with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal during the NFL team's football training camp in Indianapolis, Sunday, July 30, 2017. Luck is on the team's physically unable to perform list. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Having undergone shoulder surgery in January, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck may not start the 2017 season.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Tuesday he's "heard plenty of rumblings about [Luck] starting the year on the physically unable to perform list."

Colts general manager Chris Ballard discussed Luck's status:

"We want to make sure we handle the process right with Andrew, and continuing to do the things the doctors and trainers have told him to do, and we're going to follow that process. And as for everyone saying Andrew is down, well, every season is special in my mind. You don't ever want to take these for granted. They're too hard to come by. So we'll do everything we can to put a team on the field that will compete their butts off and play winning football.

"He's going through his throwing program right now, making sure he's got his motion back right and the next step is getting him to practice. And once we get him to practice we'll keep taking steps from there."

Luck is already on the preseason PUP list, but if the Colts place him on the regular-season PUP list, he'd have to miss at least six games. Still, the Indy Star's Stephen Holder thought Luck's preseason designation was cause for concern:

On Saturday, Luck attempted to calm the fears of Colts fans.

"There's no reason to freak out," he said, per the Star's Dakota Crawford. "I don't know what day it's going to be, I don't know what week, I don't know when, but I definitely will be [better]."

It's difficult, though, to understate how much Luck's absence would impact the Colts offense.

Scott Tolzien would likely take over as the starting quarterback. He's appeared in just nine games in his career, throwing for 937 yards and two touchdowns with seven interceptions. Indianapolis also has Stephen Morris and Phillip Walker, though the former has not thrown a pass in three years in the NFL and the latter is entering his rookie season.

And the consequences of Luck's shoulder injury go beyond just the team's performance. The Colts fired general manager Ryan Grigson in January, and head coach Chuck Pagano could be out of a job as well if the team misses the playoffs for the third straight season—regardless of whether or not he has Luck for a full season.