Colts owner Jim Irsay took part in a press conference with General Manager Chris Ballard on Monday that was ostensibly about the decision to fire head coach Chuck Pagano after six seasons on the job.
That decision may not have been made if quarterback Andrew Luck played at all during the 2017 season and that meant that Luck’s health was a big topic of discussion. So was Irsay’s vow that Luck would be ready for the start of the season after having right shoulder surgery last offseason, something that has been widely criticized as an intentional misrepresentation given how things played out.
On Monday, Irsay pushed back at that interpretation. He said that his optimism in Luck’s return was “completely warranted” and that he would never have believed that Luck would be out for so long. Irsay then doubled down on the optimism when it came to Luck’s status for the 2018 season.
Irsay said that Luck would be back with “fierce fire in his eyes” and that it is “really exciting” to see the progress that Luck has made in his recovery. Irsay went on and on, making it clear he has “no doubt” that Luck is going to return to do “great things” as an NFL quarterback.
Luck was less fiery during his own press conference last week, but did say he expects to be ready for the offseason program this year.