Andrew Luck

Jim Irsay Won’t Commit To Andrew Luck Playing Week 1

The Colts still do not have the services of their franchise quarterback, and with Week 1 less than a month away, they are unsure if Andrew Luck will be leading that effort.

Jim Irsay said he can’t commit to Luck suiting up with the Colts for their opener, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets. Irsay added he considered signing a veteran quarterback but called the price attached to this player “too high,” via Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com (on Twitter). Chappell adds this unnamed veteran was a player in his mid-30s and not Colin Kaepernick.

Irsay (via Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star, on Twitter) said Luck “could miss one game, could miss two, hypothetically.”

The owner’s comments follow a pattern of caution regarding Luck. The sixth-year quarterback, who is still recovering from January shoulder surgery, said himself he couldn’t commit to that date when asked at the start of training camp. But now that camp’s more than two weeks in, this hesitancy becomes a greater concern for Indianapolis’ early-season prospects.

Chris Ballard said in late July the Colts did engage in discussions with a potential veteran backup, seeming to confirm Irsay’s Sunday comments. As it stands, Scott Tolzien is Luck’s backup.

Ballard added Sunday while interviewed during Indianapolis’ preseason opener (via Holder, on Twitter) Luck’s strength levels are probably better now than they were at any point last season. Luck played through a partially torn labrum last year. Holder adds (via Twitter) Luck is throwing currently, but the Colts are holding him back. The cornerstone passer will ramp up his activity when doctors advise it, Holder tweets.

The Colts open their season at the Rams before closing out September with home tilts against the Cardinals and Browns.

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AFC Rumors: Broncos, Luck, Landry, Bell

A recent report from a Denver radio station indicating that the Broncos are trying to trade for Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron is “150% false,” a source tells Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post (on Twitter). Denver GM John Elway also took to Twitter to firmly deny the story. The Broncos seem content to roll into the season with either Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian as the starter. Meanwhile, the asking price on McCarron has been outlandish in the past. The Bengals were said to be seeking a first round pick for him earlier this offseason.

More from the AFC:

  • “All indications” are that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will avoid opening the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, GM Chris Ballard informed Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Wednesday (Twitter link). This isn’t the first time Ballard has expressed confidence on this issue, though a report last week suggested Luck’s shoulder could force him to begin the season on the PUP list. Either way, it’s up in the air whether Luck will play Indianapolis’ Week 1 tilt against the Rams, per Ballard.
  • The Dolphins and contract-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry still haven’t engaged in serious extension negotiations, and there’s a good chance he won’t get a new deal this year, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. By signing Jay Cutler, the Dolphins subtracted $10MM in carryover money from next year’s cap. That figure could increase to $13MM if Cutler hits his incentives this season. Cutler’s presence will make it more difficult for the Dolphins to lock up Landry, then, as will the fact that the wideout is under investigation for battery. Landry’s off-field situation doesn’t faze the Dolphins, suggests Salguero, though he nonetheless points out that it would be wiser to extend the slot target if and when he’s cleared of wrongdoing.
  • The Steelers expect running back Le’Veon Bell to end his holdout just before the regular season starts, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the meantime, the franchise-tagged star isn’t helping himself by staying away from training camp, GM Kevin Colbert told Bouchette. “Really, a holdout does not benefit him in any way,’’ Colbert said. “So, again, I hope that he sees the benefits of being here and comes in here sooner than later.” Because Bell hasn’t signed his $12.12MM franchise tender, the Steelers can’t fine him for any missed practices or preseason games. Bell’s already set to miss their first preseason contest Friday, but Bouchette notes that head coach Mike Tomlin probably wouldn’t have played him anyway. In the unlikely event Bell’s holdout lasts into the regular season, Pittsburgh will be able to dock him one-17th of his $12.12MM salary (about $713K) for each week missed.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Andrew Luck Could Start Season On PUP?

Speaking to the media earlier this week, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck didn’t commit to playing in Week 1, and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com has heard “rumblings” that Luck could begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, which would force him to miss the first six games of the 2017 season."<strong

Luck is currently on active/PUP, the preseason version of the physically unable to perform list that doesn’t allow the player to practice. If Luck practices, even for one day, he’ll have to be removed from active/PUP and won’t be allowed to be transferred to reserve/PUP (the regular season edition that requires a six-game absence). But if Luck is held out of action for the remainder of the preseason, the Colts will have the option of using the reserve/PUP list.

Still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Luck did tell reporters on Sunday that he “can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” an indication that the 27-year-old signal-caller ultimately believes he’ll be ready for the season opener. General manager Chris Ballard, too, seems confident Luck will be removed from PUP in time for Week 1.

If Luck isn’t available when the regular season rolls around, Indianapolis will turn to backup Scott Tolzien, who has three career starts under his belt. The only other quarterbacks on the Colts’ roster are Stephen Morris and Phillip Walker, an undrafted rookie out of Temple. Indianapolis would likely be forced to add another passer if Luck isn’t active for Week 1, and free agent options include Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Shaun Hill, and Christian Ponder.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Andrew Luck Does Not Commit To Playing Week 1

Last week, Colts GM Chris Ballard said Andrew Luck was on target to come off of the PUP list in time for the season opener, but as Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets, Luck himself is not ready to commit to that date. Luck spoke to the media yesterday morning, and while he said he could see the light at the end of the tunnel, he wanted to take a wait-and-see approach with respect to his short-term availability.

Andrew Luck

Luck said, “There’s no reason to freak out. I’ll be better coming out of this than I was going into this. We’re doing this right, I know we are. We’re not rushing it just to rush it” (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, citing Zak Keefer of IndyStarSports).

Luck has been a regular at the Colts’ facility after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, but as spring turned to summer, it became increasingly clear that he would not be ready for the start of training camp, and that he may be held out for the entirety of the team’s preseason slate. Although it would be preferable for him to get in at least some work this summer, there is no reason for the Colts to rush him given his experience and his long-term importance to the team.

Scott Tolzien will take first-team reps in Luck’s stead, and the fact that Ballard did not bring in a more established quarterback this offseason to compete with Tolzien can be taken as a sign of optimism for Luck’s health.

Last year, Luck completed 63.5% of his passes, accumulated 4,240 yards through the air, and threw for 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. It was a nice bounce back for the 27-year-old after an injury-plagued 2015. This year, the hope is that he’ll revert to his Pro Bowl form and lead the Colts to the playoffs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts’ Andrew Luck On Target For Week 1

For the most part, the Colts have been reluctant to put a timetable on Andrew Luck‘s recovery this offseason. There’s still nothing set in stone, but GM Chris Ballard told reporters today he expects Luck to come off of the PUP list in time for the season opener (Twitter link via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star). Andrew Luck

[RELATED: Former Colts DL Arthur Jones Has Hernia Surgery]

Reading between the lines, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) gets the feeling that Luck will be held out of preseason action as a precaution. That’s probably a smart move for the Colts considering how much is riding on Luck’s health. If Luck were to miss time, they’d be looking at a pretty big step back with reserve Scott Tolzien. Then again, Holder argues, the fact that Ballard did not bring in a more established quarterback this offseason to compete with Tolzien can be taken as a sign of optimism for Luck’s health.

Last year, Luck completed 63.5% of his passes, accumulated 4,240 yards through the air, and threw for 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. It was a nice bounce back for the 27-year-old after an injury-plagued 2015. This year, the hope is that he’ll revert to his Pro Bowl form and lead the Colts to the playoffs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Luck, Henne

The Patriots‘ best chance to replace the bruising and punishing running of LeGarrette Blount, who was a key part of the team’s success over the past few seasons, could come from a surprising source. In his first attempt to predict the Patriots’ 53-man roster, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says that UDFA LeShun Daniels, Jr. might be the best-equipped of New England’s stacked running back group to fill Blount’s void. McBride does not believe Daniels will make the team out of camp, writing that he is more likely a practice squad candidate at the moment, but the future is bright for the 6-foot, 225-pounder, who excelled in his senior season at Iowa.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was kept on the sideline during spring practices, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says there is nothing to worry about. Mitchell has a more extensive injury history than many second-year players, and New England is handling his workload accordingly to ensure they can keep him healthy for the long haul.
  • We heard earlier this week that Andrew Luck may not be ready for training camp, leading some to wonder if he is also in danger of missing the start of the regular season. Kevin Bowen of Colts.com, however, does not believe that’s the case. Bowen says that if the team was really concerned about Luck’s availability for Week 1, the team would have brought in a veteran QB to compete with backup Scott Tolzien.
  • Alex Marvez of NFL.com tweets that Chargers linebacker Nick Dzubnar is completely healed from the ACL tear that prematurely ended his 2016 season. Dzubnar has primarily served as a special teams contributor during his first two years in the league, but he has performed very well in that role.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union takes his first crack at predicting the Jaguars‘ 53-man roster, and there do not seem to be any major surprises there. One point of intrigue is the quarterback position, as O’Halloran speculates that second-year signal-caller Brandon Allen, who was good enough in camp and the preseason last year to convince Jacksonville to keep a third QB for the first time since 2013, could unseat longtime backup Chad Henne.
  • Earlier today we took a look at a few notes on the Steelers and Browns.

Extra Points: Luck, Hopkins, Bell, Freeman

As he enters his fifth-year option season, DeAndre Hopkins has nothing but great things to say about the Texans, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes.

Those talks are between the Texans and my agent, but this city has embraced me just like my hometown in South Carolina has,” said Hopkins, who’s represented by Creative Artists Agency. “I love being here. I love playing for this team, great organization. Bob McNair and Cal McNair, they do a great job at having an organization that speaks for itself. I thank those guys all the time for picking me 27th when nobody knew who DeAndre Hopkins was.”

Hopkins and Houston are expected to hammer out a new deal this offseason. For now, he’s set to play out the year at a $7.915MM figure.

Let’s check out some other notes from around the league…

  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that he may not be ready for training camp in July. “To be honest, I have not thought about it,” Luck told Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “If I’m ready for it, then great. If I’m not, then that’s the way it is. I’m certainly hopeful for it. In my mind all I can do — and I truly feel this way — with this rehab, with my shoulder, I can’t look five months down the road, three months down the road, a week down the road. To me it’s about the next rehab session, the next day. That’s where my focus is and that’s where I think it needs to be to truly get back to 100 percent.” If Luck was forced to miss any time, Scott Tolzien would presumably take starters reps.
  • Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t signed his franchise tender with the organization, and ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio wonders what it’d take to sign the Pro Bowler to an extension. Using the franchise tag as a guide, the writer guesses that Bell would request at least a two-year contract worth $26.6MM, with team options accounting for the subsequent years. Of course, considering the player’s injury and suspension history, Florio guesses that the Steelers would request some type of per-game bonuses. He also assumes that Bell would be seeking a lucrative roster bonus in an attempt to immediately pocket as much as money as possible.
  • Brandon McManus hasn’t signed his restricted free agent tender contract with the Broncos, but Mike Klis of 9News in Denver tweets that the veteran kicker is not “protesting,” noting that the 25-year-old is participating in minicamp. McManus has appeared in 47 games with the Broncos over the past three seasons, converting 82.9-percent of his field goal attempts.
  • Former NFL quarterback Josh Freeman worked out with the Montreal Alouettes today, reports Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette (via Twitter). The former first-rounder’s last NFL appearance came in 2015, when he threw for 149 yards and one touchdown in a start for the Colts. Between 2010 and 2012, Freeman started 47 games for the Buccaneers.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Andrew Luck Still On Track For Week 1

We have not heard much about Andrew Luck‘s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, which is probably a good thing for Colts fans. Although the procedure itself was something of a surprise, given that club owner Jim Irsay had insisted during the 2016 season that Luck wouldn’t need surgery on the right shoulder injury that has bothered him the past two years, Luck was expected to be fully recovered by the start of training camp.

Andrew Luck

Mike Wells of ESPN.com says Luck is still on track to start the Colts’ Week 1 contest against the Rams, though he did not indicate whether the star signal-caller would be ready for camp. Wells simply wrote, “The Colts report to training camp at the end of July. It’ll be interesting to see if Luck is at the point by then where he can practice.”

The team itself has not provided any meaningful updates on Luck’s status. When asked about Luck during a May 31 exchange with the media, head coach Chuck Pagano said that Luck is “[d]oing great. I’ve got to give you the same thing. He’s doing well rehabbing every single day. He’s a coach out there on the field. He’s in the meetings. He’s doing everything but obviously taking snaps, but he’s taking every one of them from a mental standpoint.”

As Pagano suggested, Luck has been a regular at the Colts’ facility, but it is unclear what exactly his training regimen entails. Wells, though, surmises that no news is good news, and he fully expects to see Luck under center when the regular season rolls around.

After inking a record extension last summer, Luck completed 63.5 percent of passes, threw 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and piled up 4,240 yards in 15 games in 2016. Those numbers represented a significant revival for the 27-year-old Stanford product, who struggled mightily during a seven-game, injury-plagued 2015. If Luck is healthy in 2017, the Colts should reasonably expect to challenge for a playoff berth.

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AFC Notes: Colts, Ravens, Broncos, Jets

A quick look around the AFC…

  • While announcing Andrew Luck‘s right shoulder surgery Thursday, Colts owner Jim Irsay declared that the quarterback will be ready for the season. Here’s a clearer timeline, courtesy of Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter): Luck will start throwing again in three months and should be ready for a full return in six months, which puts him on track for mid-July.
  • After four seasons, the Ravens are likely to part with pass rusher Elvis Dumervil this winter, writes Clifton Brown of CSNMidAtlantic.com. By releasing Dumervil, who has one year left on his contract, the Ravens would open up $6MM in cap space. Baltimore could use those savings to find a cover corner or offensive weapon, Brown suggests. Dumervil, who’s celebrating his 33rd birthday today, is coming off an eight-game, three-sack season. He missed just one contest out of 48 from 2013-15 and combined for 32.5 sacks, including a lofty 17.5 in 2014.
  • The Broncos will hire Brock Olivo as their new special teams coach, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Olivo spent the past three years as the assistant special teams coach with the AFC West rival Chiefs.
  • Jets guard Brian Winters will receive all $15MM of the guaranteed money on his four-year, $29MM contract in the first two seasons of the deal, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. The pact also contains per-game roster bonuses of $500K in both 2019 and ’20.

Andrew Luck Underwent Shoulder Surgery

Colts owner Jim Irsay insisted during the season that quarterback Andrew Luck wouldn’t need surgery on the right shoulder injury that has bothered him the past two years.

Andrew Luck

“There isn’t some kind of chronic shoulder injury or anything like that, I promise you,” he said in the fall (via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star). “There are no surgeries planned. He is fine and the shoulder is something that just disappears into the woodwork when he wins his next MVP or when he wins a Super Bowl.”

It came as somewhat of a surprise, then, when Irsay announced Thursday that Luck underwent a shoulder procedure.

Tweeted Irsay, “Andrew recovering from successful outpatient surgery to fix right shoulder injury that had lingered since 2015. Will be ready for season!”

Even though the Colts stumbled to their second straight 8-8 campaign in 2016, Luck didn’t show any ill effects from the injury. After inking a record extension last summer, Luck completed 63.5 percent of passes, threw 31 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and piled up 4,240 yards in 15 games. Those numbers represented a significant revival for the 27-year-old Luck, who struggled mightily during a seven-game, injury-plagued 2015.

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