Colts’ Reich: Luck ‘real close’ to throwing footballs

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) laughs on field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 17.Photo Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

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The Indianapolis Colts have been waiting months for quarterback Andrew Luck to be able to begin throwing again.

That time could be coming soon.

Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season while rehabbing from shoulder surgery, is “real close” to resuming throwing, coach Frank Reich said Thursday, per the Indianapolis Star.

The 28-year-old Luck did not throw during the team’s offseason program, working instead on his footwork and taking snaps from center, but Reich is optimistic that the three-time Pro Bowl selection is ready to take the next step.

“Again, I’ve never been through what he’s been through. I could sit here and say what I think but it’s gotta come from down in here,” said Reich, motioning to his heart. “There’s an instinct as a player, that you know when you’re ready to go, and you keep testing it and testing it. And you work with the people you’re working (with), and you trust your instinct when you’re ready to go.”

Reich expressed no concern over Luck’s progress at last month’s OTAs, and the team has noted that rushing Luck’s return last season only added to the shoulder woes.

The overall No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck admitted he “pushed a little too hard” in his attempt to return to action after having 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 in early October. Luck was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 2.

Luck started all 16 games in each of his first three seasons, guiding Indianapolis to identical 11-5 records. After he was limited to seven starts in 2015, he made 15 starts in 2016, throwing for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions.

For his career, Luck has completed 1,570 of 2,651 passes (59.2 percent) for 19,078 yards with 132 touchdowns and 68 interceptions. He has 286 rushing attempts for 1,442 yards and 14 more TDs.

Last season, the Colts finished 4-12 with Jacoby Brissett starting 15 games at quarterback. Brissett completed 58.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

The Colts are 43-27 with Luck under center during the regular season, and they are 10-16 when he does not play.