The seemingly inevitable is now the official: Andrew Luck will not play in the 2017 season. The Indianapolis Colts placed their franchise quarterback on season-ending injured reserve Thursday as he continues the slow process of recovering from January shoulder surgery.
"I wish I was better and 100 percent this season, but that's not the case," Luck said, per Andrew Walker of the Colts' official site. "I know I'll be better from this. I know I'll be a better quarterback, teammate, person and player from this, and I'm excited for the future."
Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters Luck's injury is not considered career-ending or -threatening. The team plans on having him continue rehabilitation, with the goal of having him on the field next season. His throwing regimen has been shut down at this time.
"We're going to exhaust all resources because the best interest is the player," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week. "It's long-term and we said that. It's for the next 10, 12 years for this guy and for any player. Before we put anybody out there, we're going to make sure he's right, so we're going to stick to that process.
"We want the kid healthy," Pagano continued. "Nobody is more frustrated than him. He wants to be out there with his teammates badly. It isn't fun for anybody, but it is what it is, so we'll just keep plugging away."
The Colts are 2-6 and have little hope of making the postseason, so this was always the likeliest route for this to play out. They can essentially punt the remainder of the 2017 campaign with hopes of getting a high draft pick—preferably to use on the offensive line to make Luck's life easier.
Provided doctors can figure out why Luck's shoulder is healing so slowly, he should return in 2018 with a far more well-rounded roster around him.