Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has said he hasn’t thought about whether he’ll be ready to throw when training camp opens. The team apparently has been thinking about it.
Or, more accurately, planning for him to not be ready to go.
Asked by reporters on Wednesday whether missing a week or two of training camp will leave Luck rusty to start the regular season, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski didn’t call the question premature or hypothetical or stupid or whatever.
“Well you know what my answer is going to be,” Chudzinski said, via comments distributed by the team. “It has to be. We don’t have a choice. That’s what it is and that’s the way it is. Obviously, it’s a challenge. There will be things along the way that we’re going to have to adjust and be flexible. There will be a plan to try and get those things done. If anybody can do it, Andrew can do it and we know that. We were dealing with that a lot last season, him not being out there and not practicing and us trying to get everybody else on the same page and together. Andrew has been here, that’s the great thing about it. He’s been active, around and in the meetings. You guys know how he is. He’s a guy who prepares so well and he’s able to take things from the meeting room out to the field so well that he’s the type of guy that can make it happen.”
So, yes, it sounds like the team is prepared for Luck to not be ready to throw — and for the process of getting him ready to play being compressed.
Whenever Luck is healthy, the challenge becomes keeping him that way. Which prompted a simple question for Chudzinski: Does he agree with owner Jim Irsay’s proclamation that the offensive line is fixed?
“The offensive line is a priority for us,” Chudzinski said. “Improvement in that area is necessary. We have some guys I thought that came a long way last year and made significant strides and improvements. But as I’ve said before out here, what was understandable yet not acceptable last season is not going to be understandable this season. As guys grow, and you expect that kind of growth and improvement out of them as time goes and who grows and who improves the most and how it all plays out in the spring. We’ll get our chance to find out whether we’re ready to go or not and I expect us to be ready to go.”
That’s a far cry from declaring the offensive line to be fixed. Which means that neither Luck nor the line is certainly fixed. Which means that there’s still cause for concern about a team that has missed the playoffs for two straight seasons.