Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters on Wednesday that Andrew Luck‘s health wasn’t a factor in Josh McDaniels‘ decision to back out of his agreement to become the next head coach of the team.
Ballard, in fact, went to great length to clear the air with an update on Luck, telling reporters that the quarterback doesn’t need another surgery after missing the entire 2017 season with shoulder issues.
“Let’s talk about Andrew because there’s a lot of rumors,” Ballard said. “Everybody is an expert on this right now. And all we can do is, number one, I’m going to listen to Andrew Luck, who I absolutely believe in and trust. I’m going to listen to the doctors that he’s talking to and dealing with, and I’m going to listen to the guy that is training him right now.
“And, at this point, we feel very strongly that Andrew’s in a good place. He doesn’t need surgery — I have not gotten that from the two doctors that he’s seen after the season.
“His strength is good. He’s working on his throw motion and he’s working on his arm speed right now. He has not picked up a football, but he’s throwing balls, working on arm speed. He’s not going to skip a step. … He’s going to do everything right to get himself ready to play. And I’m very confident — he’s very confident — that he’s going to come back and prove a lot of people wrong. I’m very proud of the kid. Wouldn’t want anyone else on our team. We want our team to match what he has inside.”
Ballard also noted McDaniels never asked to contact Luck, who has not taken a snap in a game since the regular-season finale of the 2016 season. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum on Jan. 15, 2017.
Recurring soreness in Luck’s shoulder prompted the Colts to finally shut him down two weeks after he returned to practice on Oct. 4. The 28-year-old went on injured reserve on Nov. 2.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported this past weekend that there are doctors who have concerns about Luck’s shoulder and whether additional surgery is needed.
“I don’t know with his shoulder you can accurately ever assess where you’re at,” Ballard said. “It’s a very subjective part of the body, and especially with a thrower. But I know what we’re being told right now, and we’re very confident going forward.”
After appearing in just seven games in 2015 due to injuries, Luck was coming off perhaps his best overall performance in his six-year NFL career in 2016. He completed 346 of 545 passes (63.5 percent) for 4,240 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and also ran 64 times for 341 yards with two more scores.
For his career, Luck — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler — has completed 1,570 of 2,651 passes (59.2 percent) for 19,078 yards with 132 touchdowns and 68 interceptions, and has 286 rushing attempts for 1,442 yards and 14 more touchdowns.