Colts coach Chuck Pagano has said that quarterback Andrew Luck will return when he’s “100 percent healthy.” So when will that be?
Colts owner Jim Irsay told Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that the team is targeting Week 15, when Indianapolis hosts the Texans. (Coincidentally, the Texans have never won in Indianapolis.)
There’s a chance, Irsay said, that Luck will return the following week, for a game against the Dolphins.
The Colts initially applied a timeline of 2-6 weeks to Luck, numbers that everyone accepted at face value, even though the Colts remain under investigation for concealing Luck’s previously fractured ribs from the injury report. That was nearly four weeks ago; a Week 15 return will put him just short of six weeks. A Week 16 return would put it just under seven.
The use of the loaded “100 percent” phrase introduces another factor into the discussion. If Matthew Hasselbeck continues to play well, Luck may not be 100 percent until Hasselbeck cools off.
As NBC Sports Medicine Analyst and long-time NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan told PFT Live on Friday, it doesn’t take much cajoling by the coaching staff to get doctors and trainers to tap the brakes, especially when a player is recovering from an internal injury.