Andrew Luck is a giant of a man. When healthy, he’s a great quarterback. As he approaches his 30th birthday, however, a fair question has arisen regarding the first overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Does Luck has a durability issue?
After three seasons of starting 16 games per year, Luck has ping-ponged between making it through all or most of full season and missing more than half of it. In 2015, he played only seven games. In 2016, he started 15 games. In 2017, he didn’t play at all. In 2018, he played every game — and he played incredibly well.
This year, it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll be ready for Week One. With a calf strain now becoming a “little bone issue” (which doesn’t sound so little, especially when coming from a man with a history of embellishing Luck’s health), who knows when Luck will be ready to go? Who knows whether he’ll stay healthy, if/when he ever gets healthy?
The Colts have to be concerned about the possibility that Luck’s career will continue to be characterized by periodic absences due to a variety of ailments and conditions. Although no one wants to be regarded as injury prone, history shows that Luck is prone to being injured. At some point, it will surely affect the manner in which the Colts regard Luck.
Signed through 2021, Luck will make $21.125 million this year, $22 million next year, and $21 million in the final year of his contract. Given the current state of the market, that’s a bargain. If he can’t play, it’s a ball and chain.
Which makes the team’s decisions regarding its backup quarterbacks critical. Jacoby Brissett enters the final year of his rookie deal. Would the Colts offer him significant money to remain in Indy as the backup? Would they use the franchise tag to keep him in place for 2020? (They definitely have the cap space to do it.)
And where does Chad Kelly fit into this equation? Does he become the new Brissett as of 2020?
Whoever the backup may be, the Colts will need a good one. Because they need to factor Luck’s potential for future injury into their overall roster planning.