Colts Need Only Look in the Mirror to Find Why Andrew Luck’s Season Is over

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SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 01: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts walks on the sidelines in the second quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 1, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The date was January 19, 2017, and the time was eight:11 a.m. CT. That was when Colts proprietor Jim Irsay mentioned all can be tremendous together with his quarterback, Andrew Luck.

Jim Irsay @JimIrsay

Andrew recovering from profitable outpatient surgical procedure to repair proper shoulder damage that had lingered since 2015. Will be prepared for season!

2017-1-19 13:11:34

He would not be prepared for the season. Not even shut.

Maybe that is what the medical workers and physicians who operated on Luck informed Irsay. And sure, problems occur. Things go incorrect. The physique is unpredictable.

Yet Irsay’s proclamation was wildly incorrect. In truth, a group announcement participant goes to be prepared for the season, earlier than that participant misses all the 12 months, could also be unprecedented. I can not keep in mind such a grossly incorrect prediction from a group, notably from an proprietor.

On Thursday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that docs suggested Luck to not throw for a number of months, possibly so long as three.

In quick order, the Colts introduced that Luck was positioned on injured reserve, ending his season earlier than it ever started. Considering how lengthy Luck’s shoulder points have lingered, there are professional questions whether or not we are going to ever see the outdated Luck once more. The one who in his first three seasons led the Colts to the playoffs and was probably the most efficient offensive weapons within the sport.

The solutions to these questions are for an additional day.

Now, nonetheless, we’re left attempting to determine simply what the hell occurred.

The reply is a straightforward one: It’s quarterback murder by entrance workplace.

“The stupidity of the Colts may have killed the career of Andrew Luck,” one entrance workplace govt texted me after the IR information turned official.

If this have been a novel, it could be referred to as The Mishandling of Andrew Luck. The first chapter would learn: “No Offensive Line.”

Few star gamers have needed to cope with offensive line woes like Luck. Russell Wilson might need an argument, however Luck’s issues are historic. ESPN.com’s Mike Wells put collectively a staggering chart exhibiting the variety of offensive line combos Luck has performed behind. 

Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times last season, second-most in the league.

Andrew Luck was sacked 41 instances final season, second-most within the league.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In 2012, Luck’s rookie 12 months, he performed with 16 completely different line combos. The subsequent season, 18. Then 20. Then 17. Then 18 once more.

Lots of groups have completely different combos on that unit, however the Colts additionally could not decide on anyone mixture. Last season, essentially the most a single Colts offensive line group performed collectively was 225 snaps (out of 1,096 whole QB snaps). In distinction, the Cowboys had a gaggle that performed 651 collectively in 2016, writes Wells.

That’s why Luck’s shoulder has been mush. And whereas Wilson has additionally performed with poor offensive traces, he is been capable of survive due to his mobility, in addition to having the ability to depend on a protection to maintain him off the sector. In Indy, every thing has been on Luck.

Former Colts basic supervisor and Hall of Famer Bill Polian is one in all many who put Luck’s points on the group.

“This new staff came in and said, ‘We’re going to be the toughest guys on the block,'” Polian, now an ESPN badyst, mentioned on the community Thursday. “‘We’re going to get huge highway graders, run, cease the run.’ In Indianapolis? With Andrew Luck? In a division the place you play 10 video games in good climate yearly? The group it’s a must to beat is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots? And you wish to are available and play such as you’re enjoying within the AFC North? That contributed to it as a result of you did not have a pbad-protecting line.”

Polian is biased; Irsay fired him. But Polian can also be right.

That is not all of the Colts fumbled in relation to Luck.

Indy has been, at greatest, clueless about Luck publicly. Remember when Chuck Pagano mentioned, with a straight face, he hadn’t seen Luck throw in observe? The head coach mentioned he had not seen his franchise QB throw. And do you additionally keep in mind when Irsay mentioned that Luck wanted his labrum repaired?

All of this has been a disservice to Luck. It makes it seem to be Luck’s shoulder damage is probably catastrophic. It could also be. It might not be. It could also be that Luck desires the knowledge muddled. But it is extra probably the group has been protecting up an damage worse than it let on all alongside.

Colts owner Jim Irsay and coach Chuck Pagano in happier times.

Colts proprietor Jim Irsay and coach Chuck Pagano in happier instances.Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Colts can deny this, however they’ve performed so many silly video games with Luck, and his profession, that they are not plausible anymore.

And for one of many sport’s true difference-makers, that may be a rattling tragedy for which the Colts have solely themselves guilty.

    

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.



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