No major issues in Andrew Luck's shoulder, owner says

ByMike Wells ESPN logo
Saturday, October 1, 2016

LONDON --Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was adamant Saturday that quarterback Andrew Luck does not have any major problems with his right shoulder.

"I can tell you Andrew's shoulder is not a serious issue," Irsay said at a fan event in London leading up to Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "It is just something along the way that we're monitoring and making sure we practice him and do the right sort of things just until it starts feeling completely 100 percent every day. But it's not something that concerns us at all. He can throw it 70 yards. He's ready to play, and I see him having a great year."

Irsay did say that Luckhas to do a better job of protecting himself to ensure he doesn't do anything to hurt himself or the franchise.

"He has to change the way he plays, only because it's just natural that he is not a 22-year-old kid at Stanford who could play tight end or quarterback," Irsay said. "He has to understand -- and he learned from the Denver game -- the importance of staying on the field. I think honing his game is the key."

Irsay hinted that Luck aggravated his shoulder while trying to tackle Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in a Colts loss.

"Look, [Luck] throws the interception, he's mad, I know," Irsay said. "Do what Peyton [Manning] did. Do a little fox trot and you don't embarrass yourself. But you stay out of the fray. You don't see Aaron Rodgers [do it]. You don't see quarterbacks get involved in those types of frays. That's when tough things happen."

Luck has also been affected by the Colts' attempts to solidify their offensive line. In three games, Luck has been sacked nine times and taken 25 additional hits.

The Colts have been delicate all season in how they have handled their $140 million quarterback. It started in the preseason when Luck didn't play in the opener against the Buffalo Bills. He was taken out earlier than expected in the third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Indianapolis has listed Luck on the injury report as "did not practice" or as a limited participant because of his right shoulder seven times since the start of the season. He missed two games last season with a shoulder injury.

Irsay said the team didn't always list Manning on the injury report but had a similar approach with him during his 13 years with the franchise.

"There's nothing surgically, trust me," Irsay said about Luck. "As the owner who just committed that type of contract, I'm telling you that shoulder is not something to be overly concerned about. He is fine. He will play until he's 38, 39 years old. He's going to be with us for a long, long time. I do not see him missing any games this year, and it is not a big problem whatsoever."

Luck has thrown for 913 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions this season for the Colts (1-2).

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.