Andrew Luck delivered some good news to Indianapolis Colts fans on Tuesday.
He feels better. He ruled out additional surgery. And he’s eager to play football after spending the last 13 months rehabbing from shoulder surgery. If all goes well Logan Cooke Color Rush Jersey , the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback might even return in time for the start of April’s offseason workouts.
Colts season-ticket holders couldn’t have asked for a better town hall meeting.
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”That is not an option for me,” Luck said when Sports Illustrated reporter Peter King asked during a pre-taped interview if he might need more surgery. ”Right now, that ship has sailed in my mind, which is also a bit of a relief. I’m not going to lie.”
The answer drew loud applause from a nearly packed house.
Still, skepticism is understandable after the turns and twists of last season.
Luck had surgery for a partially torn labrum in January 2017. He, general manager Chris Ballard and then coach Chuck Pagano all spent months optimistically talking about Luck’s long-awaited return, only to watch the process continue to drag on. Team owner Jim Irsay joined the chorus in August, suggesting Luck would return to game action in September.
But things didn’t work out as anticipated.
Instead, the top overall draft pick in 2012 missed all of Indy’s offseason workouts, all of training camp and all of the preseason. After sitting out the first month of the regular season, Luck finally started throwing a football.
Two weeks later, team officials shut him down after he complained of lingering soreness. He spent the next few weeks seeking opinions about a second surgery before going on season-ending injured reserve in November.
Luck then headed to Europe, where he continued rehabbing until returning to the team complex days before last season’s finale.
He hadn’t spoken publicly about the shoulder since Dec. 29, so the fact he’s talking now could be a promising sign even though a throwing timeline remains unclear.
”I’m in the middle of a little bit of throwing,” Luck explained without saying whether he was using a football or another object. ”But I’m really preparing and strengthening the shoulder to handle the throwing load of an NFL quarterback, to make sure the shoulder can handle it.”
A healthy Luck, the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft and tens of millions of dollars in salary-cap space presumably could have made Indy’s coaching vacancy the most attractive opening this offseason.
Initially, it appeared the Colts may have gotten the most highly coveted candidate when New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels agreed to take the job. Eight hours later, he called back to say no despite already having hired three assistants.
So last week, the Colts went with their next best option – Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator Frank Reich of Philadelphia.
While some around the league were mystified by what happened and others, including Ballard, were upset, fans embraced Ballard’s second choice.
When King, the event moderator, asked Reich if he appreciated McDaniels backing out Armani Watts Color Rush Jersey , one fan shouted: ”We are.”
”That’s very kind,” Reich said.
If Luck’s recovery lingers again, this time the Colts should be in better shape.
Jacoby Brissett, a player Reich said he liked coming out of college, started 15 games for Indy after being acquired in a trade on cut-down weekend.
Still, the Colts know with a lot of Luck, they could go from 4-12 to playoff contender.
Reich just wants to make sure his franchise quarterback is healthy first.
”You don’t want to say `How you doing, how you doing, how you doing?’ every day. I mean, who wants that?” Reich said. ”I’m hopeful that (his return), maybe that can happen (by OTAs). I’m hopeful, yeah. I know it sounds odd, but I’m not demanding an answer on that. I’m not. The question, to me, is, is he ready? I hope he’s there, but we’ll see.”
By two percentage points, the Arizona Diamondbacks are no longer in the lead in the NL West.
Losing six of seven at home will do that.
Eric Lauer limited Arizona to a run over five-plus innings, Austin Hedges homered for the first time since April 10 and the San Diego Padres opened a four-game series in the desert with a 6-3 victory over the slumping Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
The Diamondbacks fell to 1-6 in what will be a 10-game homestand and dropped into a virtual tie with the idle Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West. Arizona had been alone in first since June 8.
”We know that we are in a pennant race, if you want to call it that right now at the halfway point of the season,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ”I think we enjoy that part of the game. We know it is going to be a dogfight for the rest of the year.”
Wil Myers drove in two runs with a triple and single, and Carlos Asuaje reached base four times – a triple, RBI single and two walks – for the last-place Padres, winners for only the fourth time in 17 games.
”Offensively, I think Carlos Asuaje is probably the story of the day for us Justin Jones Color Rush Jersey ,” San Diego manager Andy Green said.
Shelby Miller (0-3) was better in his third start coming off Tommy John surgery, but still got the loss, allowing five runs – three earned – and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
”I feel good,” Miller said. ”I think today the command was a little bit better. I would have liked to go out there and finish the sixth, put up a zero out there and get out of the game. Have us in a little better situation, 2-1 instead of 5-1, leaving that inning but we kind of beat ourselves that inning a little bit.”
Arizona’s Ketel Marte hit a two-run homer off Matt Strahm in the eighth.
Lauer, a 23-year-old left-hander, gave up seven hits – mostly to soft contact – walked two and hit a batter, but only one of those baserunners managed to score in his first win in four starts.
Brad Hand gave up an infield single, then struck out the next three in the ninth for his 24th save in 28 opportunities.
Miller, who had allowed 11 runs and 15 hits in 8 2/3 innings during his first two starts back from the surgery, got off to a rocky start in the first inning when the second batter, Asuaje, tripled to deep center and scored on Myers’ single.
But the Arizona right-hander settled down, blanking the Padres for three innings before Hedges’ line shot into the left-field seats put San Diego up 2-1 in the fifth. Hedges missed 41 games with right elbow tendinitis before being reinstated on June 24.
An error by usually sure-handed shortstop Nick Ahmed led to two unearned runs in San Diego’s three-run sixth. Asuaje led off with an 11-pitch walk and scored when Myers tripled to deep right-center.
Ahmed muffed Eric Hosmer’s hard one-bouncer to allow Myers to score. Freddy Galvis‘ two-out single off reliever Andrew Chafin brought home Hosmer and the Padres led 5-1.
With runners at first and third and two outs in the fifth, Lauer struck out Paul Goldschmidt with a pitch that Green never had seen the pitcher throw: a cutter.
”It’s fun to watch a kid throw a pitch that you’ve never seen him throw before,” Green said. ”I haven’t seen the 90 mph cutter out of him before. If I haven’t seen it, Goldschmidt hasn’t seen it, either.”
Lauer said he has been working on the cutter as his slider evolved and was ”amped up” when he threw it to Goldschmidt.
Diamondbacks: OF Steven Souza Jr. (right pectoral strain) was activated from the 10-day DL and OF Jarrod Dyson was placed on the DL with a strained right groin. Souza started in right field and went 0 for 3 at the plate with a walk in just his 15th game of the season. Dyson was injured in Arizona’s loss to St. Louis Wednesday night.
Padres LHP Joey Lucchesi (4-3, 3.26 ERA) makes his fourth start since coming off the disabled list (right hip strain) and the Diamondbacks counter with RHP Zack Godley (9-6, 5.07) in the second game of the four-game series.
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