The worst-kept secret in the NFL continues to be peddled by the Colts, primarily since there’s a chance that thousands of ticket-buying fans have yet to come to terms with the reality that quarterback Andrew Luck won’t play for the team again this year.
For now, the Colts will continue to disclose the apparently reality one week at a time. On Monday, coach Chuck Pagano said that Luck will not practice again this week, his third week of no practice since two weeks of practice resulted in shoulder soreness that has yet to be resolved.
Regardless of where it goes from here, it has landed in a horribly bad spot for the Colts, who continue to pay Luck millions for, so far, nothing at all in 2017. Nearly 10 months removed from surgery, it’s hard not to wonder whether this problem will extend beyond 2017 and into 2018, and beyond.
Unlike Peyton Manning six years ago, there’s nothing the Colts can do. In early 2012, the Colts had a window to escape Manning’s massive contract. Now, the Colts have another $30 million in injury guarantees that tie them to Luck, for better or worse, through the 2018 season and into 2019, where the final $12 million appears in the form of a pair of roster bonuses due on the fifth day of the league year.
The situation, cloaked in clumsy secrecy by the Colts, has invited plenty of speculation regarding how the injury happened (there’s an unsubstantiated snowboarding rumor that continues to percolate) and whether Luck wants to engineer a way out of Indy without creating the appearance of wanting to engineer a way out of Indy. The facts remain that the Colts have lost six of eight games, and that they’ll surely be out of contention by the time Luck is in position to help.