Colts paid the price for letting Andrew Luck play hurt

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As Robert Griffin III limped through a playoff loss at the end of his rookie year, social media lit up with people asking why Washington was leaving him in the game. As it turned out, Griffin came off the field only when he had to be helped off because he suffered a severe knee injury, and the second player selected in the 2012 NFL draft was never the same again.

The team that selected the first quarterback in the 2012 NFL draft should have learned from that.

Instead, when Andrew Luck hurt his throwing shoulder in 2015, the Colts allowed him to play through the injury. Luck acknowledged on Monday that he shouldn’t have played through injury, and although he blamed himself, the Colts as an organization have to accept some of the blame, too.

When you have a franchise quarterback like Luck, a player who you’re expecting to lead your team for another decade or more, a player you’re going to invest in with the biggest contract in NFL history, you keep him safe. The Colts didn’t, and Luck says he never fully healed from that 2015 injury and it ultimately led to him missing the entire 2017 season.

This isn’t just hindsight; I tweeted while watching him play in 2015 that he shouldn’t have been out there — and that if he was healthy enough to play, his noticeable decline as a passer was inexplicable.

As it turns out, the explanation is that Luck was playing through an injury that should have sidelined him. The Colts lost their franchise quarterback for a year in 2017 because they didn’t give him the rest he needed in 2015. Now they can only hope he eventually returns to form.

76 responses to “Colts paid the price for letting Andrew Luck play hurt

  1. True, but the minute a player says they don’t feel ready-THEY ARE QUESTIONED IN EVERY WAY. Everybody plays injured every year-so they say. Who really knows what the line should be? I saw Doug Williams hopping through a Super Bowl and actually balling out and winning.

  2. “…and although he blamed himself, the Colts as an organization have to accept some of the blame, too…”
    ——————————

    Well, Luck isn’t a doctor. Most pro athletes are going to try to play hurt – and teams pressure them to play hurt all the time. But “playing hurt” is very different from playing when you shouldn’t because you’re making things worse.

    The team is responsible here, not Luck. Why have team doctors if they can’t assess something like this? Clearly he had to be in pain while throwing. You can’t just shoot him up with painkillers over and over and then be surprised that his shoulder is really messed up.

    Just like RGIII shouldn’t have been allowed to play in that playoff game, Luck should’ve been pulled well before his shoulder got to this point.

    That falls on the team, not the player.

  3. Since the Deflategate framing:

    Patriots: 46-11, three Super bowl appearances, two Super Bowl wins

    Colts: 20-28, no playoff appearances

  4. It’s remarkable how long Ryan Grigson kept his job. That guy’s got blood on his hands, too. The offensive line was an absolute joke. Luck didn’t exactly avoid contact, but a lot of it was inevitable due to the lack of resources used to protect their most valuable asset.

  5. And not just the original injury but they had him playing briefly with the practice squad last season. They bragged about how good he was looking. Either they had some comically bad medical advice or they wanted to give the impression he MIGHT be coming back any game just to keep fans interested.

  6. billvick111 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:40 am
    It’s remarkable how long Ryan Grigson kept his job. That guy’s got blood on his hands, too. The offensive line was an absolute joke. Luck didn’t exactly avoid contact, but a lot of it was inevitable due to the lack of resources used to protect their most valuable asset.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Pagano was way worse than Grigson. His negligence and stupidity set the team back 5 years. He’s a “nice guy” and the whole beating cancer thing is a great story, so the media doesn’t bash him. But he’s easily one of the 5 worst coaches in NFL history

  7. Having suffered through “2” torn Labrums, and seeing how this has transpired, I predict another surgical attempt this year to reattach the cartilage back to the bone. Therapy will not work for a professional QB who needs his biceps tendon/labrum secured/ healed properly.

    Look for Luck to play through week 4, and that will be it it until the 2021 season. Anything other than a full commitment to fully heal will backfire again.

  8. With all the pressure on players to play every week most of the blame is with the Colts and there so called “doctor”. Football players are extreme competitors that if they can walk they will play most of the time. Its up to the team and the doctors to pull him from playing

  9. beerbaron says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Since the Deflategate framing:

    Patriots: 46-11, three Super bowl appearances, two Super Bowl wins

    Colts: 20-28, no playoff appearances

    1) No one was framed. They cheated then and they have cheated before. I am not sure that they have cheated since so the system worked.

    2) Their starting QB was out. And down to Jacoby Brissett. The Patriots weren’t down Tom Brady so the comparison is a little stupid. Not ignorant, stupid.

    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    For smart people there isn’t even a comparison between the two franchises, and not how you would like there to be no comparison. Pats cheat, play against weak teams, have NEVER been dominant in a SB – ever – and have lost quite a few. Could be just as easy 3-5 as they are 5-3. I wouldn’t crow.

  10. Fact is he played through the injury in 2015 and balled out in 2016 while still injured. Now that he’s nearly fully recovered and doesn’t anticipate having any further issues with it, imagine what hes gonna do when he steps back on the field!

  11. Thetruthis says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:29 am
    True, but the minute a player says they don’t feel ready-THEY ARE QUESTIONED IN EVERY WAY. Everybody plays injured every year-so they say. Who really knows what the line should be? I saw Doug Williams hopping through a Super Bowl and actually balling out and winning.

    ————

    Can you play at 80% or above and not make the injury worse or risk collateral injures by playing. That’s the line to me.

  12. The Colts just ripped off the Jets and have a lot of draft capital this year.
    Now they can draft some good Olinemen and become a good team again, assuming Luck is recovered.

  13. What’s the difference between being hurt and being injured?
    Hurt you can keep playing while injured gets you on the sidelines

  14. I hope the Philadelphia Eagles learn from the Colts mistakes, and do not try and rush Carson Wentz back into the fold before he’s ready.

  15. Luck deserves better than the group of liars that stink up that organization. Even IF he’s healthy, he’s going to take a pounding back there.

  16. Yeah, The Colts have destroyed a good QB. Brissett Will be the Starting QB by seasons end again.I really can’t help but laugh at these fools but that’s what happens when you get Chumps and Druggies running your organization. They care more about sticking it to the Pats than they doing winning.

  17. Too many players do this, especially QBs. When Luck got hurt I was worried that this would happen, not a Colt fans but a fan of Andrew Luck.

  18. Pats fans – give Luck a break. He was one of the guys who said deflategate was a joke.

    You don’t reach for your coffee with a torn labrum never mind play in the NFL

    He was trying to tough it out for the team and needed to be saved from himself and shut down.

    Irsay, Grigson, Pagano. Nothing further.

  19. bystanderhere says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:40 am
    It was very unfortunate for Andrew Luck to be picked up by such a dysfunctional, cheating org. A talent wasted, lost in the swamp. Sad…
    _________
    He plays for the Colts, not the Patsies*.
    Geez……

  20. I’m sure the Dolts will find a way to dock some picks and millions from the Patriots since they can’t keep their QB on the field. Could not have happened to more deserving franchise in the history of North American Professional Sports. “Oh what a tangled web we weave…”

  21. LOL Seriously how was Pagano way worse? he didn’t build the team, he didnt call the shots he was the beta dog in the house of the 2 alpha’s grigson and irsay. Pagano worked with what he got dealt with. Idk how people blame pagano anyone could tell he was the one not calling the shots.

    obsession55 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:48 am
    billvick111 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:40 am
    It’s remarkable how long Ryan Grigson kept his job. That guy’s got blood on his hands, too. The offensive line was an absolute joke. Luck didn’t exactly avoid contact, but a lot of it was inevitable due to the lack of resources used to protect their most valuable asset.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Pagano was way worse than Grigson. His negligence and stupidity set the team back 5 years. He’s a “nice guy” and the whole beating cancer thing is a great story, so the media doesn’t bash him. But he’s easily one of the 5 worst coaches in NFL history

  22. Indybear says:
    April 10, 2018 at 10:03 am
    Luck deserves better than the group of liars that stink up that organization. Even IF he’s healthy, he’s going to take a pounding back there.
    _______
    The Bears.
    Not relevant since 1985.
    That Super Bowl messed you up something fierce.

  23. Don’t forget the Colts gave Luck a $140 million contract the year after his injury. Now you know the real reason they were so upset McDaniels backpedalled away from this train wreck — now they need a new fall guy for “failing to develop” Luck in the expensive years to come.

  24. jack napier says:
    April 10, 2018 at 10:00 am
    What’s the difference between being hurt and being injured?
    Hurt you can keep playing while injured gets you on the sidelines

    ————

    Hurt is the Colts feelings after the Patriots destroyed them in the AFC Championship Game.

    Injured is their ego after doing absolutely nothing since then.

  25. 2) Their starting QB was out. And down to Jacoby Brissett. The Patriots weren’t down Tom Brady so the comparison is a little stupid. Not ignorant, stupid.

    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    ****************************************************************************************************************************
    Jacoby Brissett was playing for the Patriots in the 2016 season — Andrew Luck was with the Colts

    With the exception of one or two seasons the AFC South has been a horrible division since it was created. Bill Polian input in the realignment of the league with the expansion and he put his dome team in a division with not one but two “expansion teams”, Jacksonville and Houston. When the new divisions were created, the Dolphins should have been placed in the AFC South and the Colts in AFC East, or maybe the Colts in the North and the Ravens in the East. But NOOOOOO. Polian could not have his precious dome team play against the North or the East. Historically the Patriots were always a difficult match up for the Colts (going back before the Kraft era) and the Colts “finesse” offense would never have survived the smash mouth Steelers and Bengals defenses two times a year, so Polian did the next best thing and put his team and Peyton Manning into the softest division in the league thus guaranteeing the ACF South division title year over year. Had Polian put the Dolphins in the South where they belong the level of the playing field in the AFC would have been very different creating true parity for the AFC South and the AFC East.

  26. TruFBFan says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:53 am
    beerbaron says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:36 am
    Since the Deflategate framing:

    Patriots: 46-11, three Super bowl appearances, two Super Bowl wins

    Colts: 20-28, no playoff appearances

    1) No one was framed. They cheated then and they have cheated before. I am not sure that they have cheated since so the system worked.

    2) Their starting QB was out. And down to Jacoby Brissett. The Patriots weren’t down Tom Brady so the comparison is a little stupid. Not ignorant, stupid.

    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    For smart people there isn’t even a comparison between the two franchises, and not how you would like there to be no comparison. Pats cheat, play against weak teams, have NEVER been dominant in a SB – ever – and have lost quite a few. Could be just as easy 3-5 as they are 5-3. I wouldn’t crow

    ——-

    So innacurate I barely know where to begin…

    1.) Absolutely, positively a frame job. Everyone knows now that the 2 teams that get beat like a drum by the Pats illegally staged this sting. It was proven to be false (the footballs fell into the normal range based on the weather) and were equal with the few Colts balls tested. The league should have never allowed this. Brady and the Pats had the last laugh by winning the Super Bowl—you may have noticed.

    2.) Doesn’t matter. Figure it out. No excuses. This is how champion organizations act. They plan better. Cheating never had anything to do with their greatness, and you know it. The Colts get drubbed over and over, and their reaction is to perpetrate a ham-handed sting operation against the team that owns them. Loser move.

    3.) You can’t be serious. No one, and I mean NO ONE, worries about the AFC South. Soft – just like the Colts. I laughed the hardest at this one.

    Finally, I LOVE when people point to how much the Pats did or didn’t win in all of their Super Bowls. Think of how silly that is. It’s the Super Bowl, not some regular season game against some 8-8 AFC South team. The Pats seem to go every other year or so. That is simply incredible in and of itself. Now all you got is how dominant they were? They have the highest winning percentage in history over this generation. Amazing, amazing consistency with tons of player turnover and never drafting high. You’ll never see anything like it again.

    I’ll take the 8 (count ‘em 8!) appearances in the Brady era and let the chips fall where they may. So would any normal, unbiased observer. And he’s not done.

    Wow.

  27. 3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    Absolute BS, colts chose to align with the AFC South because of the weaker teams! Geographically they would fit nicely with the AFC North!
    But, nooo, colts didn’t want to play real teams that played smash mouth football!
    So TruFBfan, either you’re too young to know or you don’t know anything about football!

  28. This seems to be what the Colts do – they cut corners around their QBs and then everyone ends up with less success than they should have.

    They never surrounded Manning with a good enough team. Only ONE SB win and just two appearances with arguably the best QB of his generation? He matched that success rate in just 4 seasons with the Broncos. Barely making a dent in the playoffs with the best young QB in the league with Luck? How do you manage that?

    The Packers seem to be similarly squandering Rodgers, but at least they seem to have done a better job of protecting him.

  29. Even if he is able to come back and play. There is no chance he comes back anywhere near the player he was, or was expected to be.

    The Colts wasted a guy who was about as can’t miss as a QB can be.

    Ryan Grigson and Jim Irsay ruined Andrew Luck.

  30. This is a prime example of how teams operate. You question why players fail physicals for one team then pass it for the next. Decisions are based on need and sometimes not in the best interest of the players. How many times have coaches said the Dr’s make the decision on who can participate and who can’t. Could Luck have been more vocal of course he could but it’s clear that the dr gave the coach the thumbs up and cleared Luck to play.

  31. Look at all the NE fans on here showing their lack of class. Humorous seeing such sorry excuses for human beings whining about their team getting busted…again.

  32. Luck had all the potential in the world coming out of Stanford. The Colts cheated by tanking games to draft Luck….so I can understand how he ended up on the Colts. what I don’t understand is why he signed an extension to his contract. Why not simply tell Irsay ‘sorry….not playing here..I’m done’?

    Elway would have picked this guy up in a heartbeat and he would have been on a team with a real defense and a history of success. But no, for some inexplicable reason he decided to stay on with Irsay, Grisgon and Pagano. Oh what could have been…

  33. TruFBFan says:

    April 10, 2018 at 9:53 am
    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    ??? Since when have the colts played in an actual division? A couple years ago when Luck was winning division titles at 10-6, they were below .500 against the rest of the league and the other 3 teams in their division combined for like 8 wins total. So trufbfan… maybe not.

  34. TruFBFan says:

    April 10, 2018 at 9:53 am
    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    ————-

    titans – 0 SB wins
    Texans – 0 SB wins
    Jags – 0 SB wins

    Yeah that’s a really tough division there….

  35. TruFBFan says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:53 am

    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    —-

    What?

    the AFC East was 15-9 against the other AFC divisions last year, the South was 11-13 (as were the North and West).

    And if you remove the division winners (Pats and Jags both 5-1 in non-division AFC games) then:

    Bills, Jets and Phins combined for 10-8
    Texans, Colts and Titans combined for 6-12

    Big, BIG difference there.,

  36. Titans – 0 SB wins
    Texans – 0 SB wins
    Jags – 0 SB wins

    Yeah that’s a really tough division there…
    ======

    Dolphins
    Bills
    Jets

    Takes one to know one I guess..

  37. 3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    This is the best talk about NOT knowing what you are talking about!!

    In lucks first 2 years the colts had a 500% record OUTSIDE the mighty AFC South and ONLY made the playoffs because of the weak division they played in

    Since 2001 the AFC South has been the worst division in the AFC record wise.

    Bout NO ONE ever used that lame excuse when it came to Manning winning

  38. 2015:
    Jim Irsay – drug/alcohol addled owner
    Ryan Grigson – possibly the worst GM of his era
    Chuck Pagano – nice guy but…remember the phunt?

  39. exinsidetrader says:
    April 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm
    The NFL should supply a “player safety” doctor to every team to have final say on players. Team physicians are just puppets.
    ————————————-
    If I am a team owner and have a player’s (a very important player’s no less) career ruined on my team’s doctor, guess how long this doctor will stay employed?

  40. If I am a team owner and have a player’s (a very important player’s no less) career ruined on my team doctor’s watch, guess how long this doctor will stay employed?

  41. 1) No one was framed. They cheated then and they have cheated before. I am not sure that they have cheated since so the system worked.

    2) Their starting QB was out. And down to Jacoby Brissett. The Patriots weren’t down Tom Brady so the comparison is a little stupid. Not ignorant, stupid.

    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    For smart people there isn’t even a comparison between the two franchises, and not how you would like there to be no comparison. Pats cheat, play against weak teams, have NEVER been dominant in a SB – ever – and have lost quite a few. Could be just as easy 3-5 as they are 5-3. I wouldn’t crow.

    ………………………………………………………………………….

    lmao you lost all credibility once you called that an actual division…houston and jags were beyond garbage until last season…but hey who am I to let facts get in the way of a good argument…

  42. Isray is the worst owner in the NFL. While people like Jones, Snyder, and York may receive more attention, there is no doubt that Isray is worse than all of them. Outside of his arrest record, he completely botched Manning’s departure, sucked for Luck then didn’t give him any linemen or RB’s, signed Luck to a huge deal then forced him to play hurt, then pronounced him ready to play when he wasn’t all while questioning Luck’s toughness along the way. Oh, and he hired Grigson.

  43. aarons444 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm
    Titans – 0 SB wins
    Texans – 0 SB wins
    Jags – 0 SB wins

    Yeah that’s a really tough division there…
    ======

    Dolphins
    Bills
    Jets

    ————–

    At least those teams have been to and won SBs. the Texans and the Jags have accomplished neither

  44. aarons444 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm
    Titans – 0 SB wins
    Texans – 0 SB wins
    Jags – 0 SB wins

    Yeah that’s a really tough division there…
    ======

    Dolphins
    Bills
    Jets

    Takes one to know one I guess..

    —————

    It sure does:

    Vikings – 0 SB wins
    Lions – 0 SB wins
    Bears – 1 SB win

  45. Playoffs since 2002

    Jets – 5
    Dolphins – 2
    Bills – 1

    Titans – 5
    Texans – 4
    Jags – 3

    Vikings – 6
    Lions – 3
    Bears – 3

    The AFC LEast is the worst division in the NFL since realignment.

  46. Too bad that they really botched this thing… I actually liked watching him play whey he was on his game. The NFL is better with him in it and playing at a high level.. but if that’s it, that’s it. The geico caveman comparisons will live on forever regardless!

  47. obsession55 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 9:48 am
    Pagano was way worse than Grigson. His negligence and stupidity set the team back 5 years. He’s a “nice guy” and the whole beating cancer thing is a great story, so the media doesn’t bash him. But he’s easily one of the 5 worst coaches in NFL history
    ******

    You have a valid point!

  48. Aarons444 says:
    April 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Playoffs since 2002

    Jets – 5
    Dolphins – 2
    Bills – 1

    Titans – 5
    Texans – 4
    Jags – 3

    Vikings – 6
    Lions – 3
    Bears – 3

    The AFC LEast is the worst division in the NFL since realignment.

    ****************************************

    Nice try, Einstein.

    Your own post does you in. Since the 3 teams in the AFC East have to contend with the perennial BEAST that is the NE Patriots, it follows that there will ALWAYS be one less playoff spot in the entire AFC for the other 15 teams to vie for.
    NO Team in the NFC has exhibited the kind of dominance that New England has over since 2002. not even close

    Therefore, the fact that the AFC South has a MERE 4 more playoff Team Seasons than the AFC East ( 12-8) proves the AFC East is on par with and even better than these other scrub teams you mention.
    NYJ, MIA and Buff have to play the Bext team in the NFL over the last 17 years 2x per year.

    Who does Indy, Minn, Jax or Chi have to play 2x per year that is even remotely as good as NE over the last 17 years/ Answer;
    NO
    ONE.

    Case closed. you’re premise, like your hate is flawed at best. HAve a day.

  49. The only thing more amusing than Pats fan saying the Pats didn’t cheat is listening to them defend that abysmal division of second rate NFL teams.

    The Bills hadn’t made the Playoffs this CENTURY until 2017.

    The BROWNS, in their vast nothingness, have made the Playoffs as many times as the Bills this century.

  50. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Luck never plays an NFL game again. He sat out an entire year and he still hasn’t thrown a football. The Colts will probably be bad again this year without a good QB in a strong position and next year will be drafting a QB near the top of the draft thus ending Luck’s tenure in Indy.

  51. “Luck mvp”

    Of sittin’ on the bench or in the owner’s box and watching maybe.

    “Pats fans – give Luck a break. He was one of the guys who said deflategate was a joke.”

    You’re entirely correct. And I don’t think most Pats fans dislike luck, it’s the lying incompetents who own and run the team he plays for we dislike. The fact is the game is always better when premier players are on the field, whether they are on the team you cheer for or any other.

    If anything I think most Pats fans feel sorry he got drafted by a team that is so poorly run no one thought to put a competent Oline in front of him so his career was ruined.

  52. 2015…the final year of Grigson’s and Pagano’s contracts at the time. They were managing the team for their jobs, period. Sitting Luck would have resulted in both being fired (at least they feared, who knew Irsay would be dumb enough to re-sign both of them!).

    This was also when the rumors were Grigson was determining who would be starting/playing, so it’s possible he put pressure on the coaches/doctors for Luck to play.

    If Luck were out hurt in 2015, not only would the team’s season go down the tubes, it would basically say that the OL that let him get hurt was crap…meaning Grigson wasn’t stocking the larder sufficiently and Pagano wasn’t getting them coached properly.

  53. OldTime Football says:
    April 10, 2018 at 11:02 am
    3) The Colts play in an actual division, with actual NFL teams. Hats off to the Bills for 2017, but still not a quality team like Houston and Jax have evolved into.

    Absolute BS, colts chose to align with the AFC South because of the weaker teams! Geographically they would fit nicely with the AFC North!
    But, nooo, colts didn’t want to play real teams that played smash mouth football!
    So TruFBfan, either you’re too young to know or you don’t know anything about football!

    ————————————————————————————–

    The Colts got to CHOOSE what division they played in?? Really??
    Where do you Pats fans come up with this stuff? It’s unbelievable…

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