Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck revealed that he sprained the AC joint in his throwing shoulder in a snowboarding accident in the winter of 2016, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, just one offseason after he tore his labrum in that same shoulder.
Luck had never spoken publicly about the snowboarding accident.
"I don't snowboard anymore," he told Rapoport. "And this was after the initial injury. I went back, rehabbed it with the Colts. I've had a bunch of AC sprains, both left and right shoulder, and resolved that issue. But the labrum has been my issue, was my issue, what I worked through, what I got surgery on."
Luck has contended, however, that the AC sprain he suffered while snowboarding had no effect on the labrum injury that costed him the entire 2017 season.
"I've seen more doctors than I can count on two hands over the past two or three years, and the consensus—unanimous—is that the AC is not an issue, nor did it have an effect," he told Rapoport. "The labrum is an issue."
Luck, 28, had established himself as one of the NFL's most promising young quarterbacks by the 2014 season, throwing for 4,761 yards, 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions that campaign. But a multitude of injuries—including a lacerated kidney—cost him nine games in 2015.
After missing just one game in 2016, Luck had surgery for a torn labrum in January 2017. He's set to make his return Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he told Rapoport his time away from the field renewed his passion for the game:
"It made me realize I love football and I love playing it. I love my teammates. It stinks when you can't do something. I do think I've gained a different appreciation. I'm much happier playing it than I was. ... I was very emotional before the first preseason game. I'll try to keep it in check, but I've also learned it's important to just let things go and let it happen. I know I'll be excited. I know that."
For a Colts team that went 4-12 without him last season, the excitement around his return is surely mutual.