While everything went well for Andrew Luck in his long-anticipated return to an NFL field in the Indianapolis Colts’ preseason opener, that doesn’t mean it was perfect.
Luck’s comeback, after a missed season following shoulder surgery in January of 2017, will come in steps. That continues as Luck’s Colts take on the Baltimore Ravens on the Yahoo Sports mobile app (IOS and Android) at 8 p.m. ET Monday night.
The first step was simply being back in the lineup. Luck was tested in the Colts’ first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, and he did pretty well. He completed 6-of-9 passes for 64 yards. There are still more tests to pass, including effectively throwing the deep ball.
What is Andrew Luck going to be working on against the Ravens?
According to Colts.com, Luck said he felt good throwing short and intermediate routes against the Seahawks. Most of his passes were designed to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Some of that seems to be new coach Frank Reich’s scheme, but probably also to get Luck some high-percentage throws and get him comfortable. He hadn’t played in more than a year-and-a-half, after all.
That was fine for a first preseason game back, but Luck said he now has to work on deep passes.
“Doing individual drills on it,” Luck said, according to Colts.com. “That’s a little bit of a focus this week.”
Just because Luck was back on a field doesn’t mean his entire game was back. It’s still a bit of a work in progress.
Still more challenges for Luck before his regular-season return
The good news is Luck said his arm was fine after his return last week. He was worn out, but he didn’t seem to feel the effects when it came to his shoulder.
“I was tired, I was exhausted,” Luck said, according to Colts.com, when asked how he felt after the game. “I think emotionally I was worn out, and honestly it was probably the redeye home after the game. You know it makes you feel things a little extra, turns the volume up, but I felt physically okay, just energy-wise very low.”
Luck’s challenge on Monday night will be a good one for him, and the Colts. The Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Even though it’s just a preseason game, Luck can measure his progress pretty well with a few weeks to go before the regular season.
Just seeing Luck back in live NFL action again Monday night will be great. His return is good for the game. But he is aware there are still more questions to answer before games count.
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