The news didn't come as much of a surprise after reports suggested Luck was unlikely to feature in Week 1 as he recovers from January shoulder surgery, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com (h/t Mike Clay of ESPN.com). Head coach Chuck Pagano also said Aug. 22 he didn't have a timetable for Luck's return.
That left Tolzien as the team's starter. The backup quarterback has made just three NFL starts in his six-year career, completing 61.7 percent of his passes with two touchdowns against seven interceptions
The question now is when Luck, 27, will return. The face of the franchise had another strong season in 2016, throwing for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns with 13 interceptions while completing 63.5 percent of his passes. The Colts missed the postseason for the second straight year, however.
Injuries have become a major storyline in Luck's promising young career. He missed nine games in 2015 with a lacerated kidney, partially torn abdominal muscle and shoulder and rib injuries and one game last year with a concussion. Now, his recovery from shoulder surgery has extended into the 2017 season.
Indianapolis' season will likely hinge on when Luck returns to the field and if he can avoid further injury. If he's healthy, the Colts will be contenders in the wide-open AFC South. If he misses any time, however, they won't have the talent to make a playoff push.
Certainly, the team finds itself in a precarious situation with Luck out for at least the first week. If Tolzien plays poorly, there will be questions about why it didn't acquire a more reliable backup this offseason.