Andrew Luck was enjoying himself so much in being in a football game for the first time in over 18 months that he was even thrilled to be hit by an opponent.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback played his first football game since the end of the 2016 NFL season after shoulder injuries derailed all of last year. Luck played just two series for the Colts, but it was an important two series given his struggles to get his ailing shoulder back in form last year.
“The first play is always a little nerve-wracking in any game, in a sense, but especially this one,” Luck said. “After that it sort of slowed down and the rhythm, the flow of the huddle, calling a play, knowing where the play clocks are, getting to the line of scrimmage, showing what your cues are, that operation takes over. For lack of better word, it felt natural.”
Luck completed 6-of-9 passes for 67 yards and scrambled for a yard before exiting the game early in the second quarter. That scramble came with Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner knocking him down on the other end of it. Luck pulled himself off the turf unfazed.
“I think there was a sense of ‘OK, get hit, get up, make sure you’re not broken in half on the field.’ It was probably the most excited I have been and will ever be for getting hit,” Luck said.
The Colts moved 60 yards in 12 plays against the Seahawks on their opening possession. An opening swing pass to Marlon Mack went for 17 yards and Luck would later hit T.Y. Hilton on an 8-yard pass for a third down conversion. Another swing pass on fourth-and-1 kept the drive alive as Luck hit Robert Turbin for 14 yards down to the Seattle 23. The drive would eventually stall before a 33-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.
Luck completed 5-of-7 attempts on the opening possession for 55 yards.
“Just trying to control my emotions and then I just sort of said ‘screw it,'” Luck said of his jovial demeanor on the sidelines. “Whatever I want to think and whatever I want to feel, I’m going to feel it and let that happen. It was a little bit of pressure was off, in a sense, and I really had fun. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t quite know if I would have this much fun practicing football. I didn’t know if I would have this much fun again playing football.”