Jim Irsay's confidence is unwavering: Andrew Luck will be back and better than ever next season.
"I'm not going to B.S. you. I'm not going to B.S. our fans. I have no doubt in my mind that Andrew is gonna come back. That kid is a special kid. He was born to do great things in the NFL," the Indianapolis Colts owner told reporters at a news conference Monday.
Luck, 28, missed the entire 2017 season in recovery from shoulder surgery last January. The Colts went 4-12 in his absence and announced the firing of head coach Chuck Pagano following their win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Jacoby Brissett managed just 13 touchdown passes all season in Luck's stead, and the team ranked 30th in points scored and passing yards per game. Irsay hinted he may be looking at adding a running back this offseason to help Luck create a more explosive offense.
"You put [Luck] on that field, healed up, and you put an Edgerrin James—maybe that's bigger, stronger and faster—and let this man continue to do the job that he's already begun to do, this is going to be a special place to be and a special place to play," Irsay told reporters.
The Colts have the third selection in April's draft, which they could use to select Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Frank Gore has served as their primary running back the last three seasons but seems likely to move on in free agency.
Luck underwent surgery in January 2017 for an injury he originally suffered during the 2015 season. Recovery was initially expected to have him ready for the beginning of the 2017 campaign, but he was slow to heal. He felt soreness when doing light throwing in October practices before he was put on injured reserve in early November. He then went to Europe for treatments not available in the United States.
"My gut and my feeling tells me I won't need another surgery," Luck told reporters Friday. "I’m very optimistic. I feel really good today—I do not think I need another surgery. I believe in the process I’m in right now. I plan on being ready for everything [OTAs]."