Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young said on PTI that he has watched Luck since college and can see that Luck’s arm is not the same.
“I was a season ticket holder at Stanford,” Young said. “I used to go over and watch Andrew Luck, and as a quarterback I used to watch him throw the ball and go, ‘That’s beautiful. That’s amazing.’ I haven’t seen the guy throw the ball like that. And so I have a deep appreciation for how he throws the ball. It is not being thrown that way right now. He cannot drive the football. He can’t throw it the way he used to.”
According to Mike Clay of ESPN, Luck has not attempted a pass with a depth over 31 yards even once this season. During Luck’s previous five seasons, he totaled 114 pass attempts with a depth over 31 yards.
Luck played 70 games in his first five seasons, so he was previously averaging 1.6 attempts per game that went 31 yards downfield or longer. To play three straight games and not even try a pass that deep once would strongly suggest that the Colts aren’t confident enough in Luck’s arm strength to trust him to throw deep.
And, of course, we don’t have to speculate about what the Colts are thinking about Luck’s arm: We saw it at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. With the Colts trailing 20-16, they took over at their own 11-yard line with 39 seconds left. That’s a situation when NFL teams throw deep. But what did the Colts do? They had luck throw six consecutive short passes, then come out of the game to be replaced by Jacoby Brissett for a Hail Mary.
If Luck can make deep throws, he should have thrown deep at the end of Sunday’s game. And until we see him throw deep the way we used to, it’s hard to take seriously his claims that his shoulder is as good as new.