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Andrew Luck Expected to Return from Injury to Play in Colts' Preseason Opener

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) runs a drill during practice at the NFL football team's training camp, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said on Wednesday that quarterback Andrew Luck would play in the team's first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 9, according to Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star.

Reich also noted that the Colts weren't holding Luck back in any way at practice.

"When he's out there practicing, he's full go," he said, per Keefer.

Those comments mirrored the update on Luck that general manager Chris Ballard provided last week: 

Kevin Bowen @KBowen1070

Ballard says of the throws he’s seen, he believes Luck is throwing the ball really well. Luck will play in the preseason, but no decision yet on how much or if he will in the preseason opener.

Reich, meanwhile, noted that the veteran quarterback has looked very good in his workouts: 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

#Colts coach Frank Reich at the podium here in Westfield says he watched video of Andrew Luck’s recent workouts in California. “He looked really good. You could see a progression.” Sticking to plan, mimic in-season schedule for throwing.

Luck later spoke to reporters, saying he was "super stoked" about his health.

"I can assure you nobody's more excited than I am and nobody cares more than I do," Luck added.

Luck, 28, missed all of last season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder in January 2017. It was the second time in the past three seasons that injuries cost him major time—he also missed nine games in the 2015 campaign as a result of shoulder issues and a lacerated kidney. 

When healthy, Luck has proved to be one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football. He's been selected to three Pro Bowls and threw for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2016, completing 63.5 percent of his passes.

His career year came in 2014, when he threw for career highs in yards (4,761) and touchdowns (40) and led the Colts to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the New England Patriots

Without Luck last season, the Colts finished 4-12, their worst record since 2011. A healthy and productive Luck, however, makes the Colts a sneaky playoff contender, even in a strong AFC South that includes two playoff teams from last year (Jacksonville and Tennessee) and a Houston Texans squad that should be improved with the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive superstar J.J. Watt.

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