He felt strong enough Wednesday to run some sprints known as “gassers” with teammates, but Andrew Luck is not practicing just yet.
Aside from acknowledging his workouts are intensifying, everything else sounds about the same as the Indianapolis Colts quarterback continues his tedious rehabilitation from a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle.
Luck repeated what he’s said in past weeks on Wednesday, that he’s “getting better” each week and no timetable is certain for his return. He was asked about the latter, with reference to owner Jim Irsay’s Sunday comments that the team hoped Luck could be back for next week’s home game against Houston, but if not he should be ready for the following week at Miami.
“I’m just, again, I’ve said this all along, I’m just day-by-day really trying to make myself feel better every day,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. Obviously anything is a possibility, but I’m not going to throw a date out.”
Periodic tests confirm he’s making progress. And seeing the gassers was encouraging.
“You’ve got to get in shape if you want to play a football game,” he said of the sprints. “There are steps to get there and that’s definitely a big part of the step and the preparation.”
As for his training regimen, Luck said he began with 20 to 30 throws in sessions and is now up to 50 with an increased intensity of short, intermediate and long passes.
“Yeah, getting better, getting better, feeling better,” he said. “Probably increased the intensity (and) the volume of what I have been doing. Definitely trending upward, trending in the right direction.”
if the words sound familiar, they are often uttered by head coach Chuck Pagano in weekly injury updates. When asked if Luck could play in the same week he returns to practice, a non-committal Pagano said, “I have no idea, to be honest with you.”
For what it’s worth, Luck expects he’ll need some time to shake off the rust when he does return to practice.
“Yeah, I think it’ll take a couple days,” he said. “I’ve always been a big believer in practice and how important that is to a quarterback and to any player really. Yeah, I’m going to try and do the best I can when that time is with practice, but I don’t anticipate it being like I haven’t been out in a sense. It’ll take a couple days I’m sure, but once you get in the swing of it, I think it’ll be alright.”
The Colts (6-6), tied with Houston for the AFC South Division lead, take a 16-game division win streak into Sunday’s game at the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8). Backup Matt Hasselbeck suffered neck and rib injuries in Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh, but was a full practice participant Wednesday and is expected to make his sixth start of the season. He’s 4-1 subbing for Luck.
Each game is difficult for him to watch, but Luck contributes by assisting associate head coach Rob Chudzinski and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen as a play translator. When he sees Hasselbeck get hit — something Luck knows a lot about in his four seasons — it makes him wince.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Luck said. “You don’t have to be a rehabbing quarterback to wince when quarterbacks take awkward hits. It’s tough. He’s a tough guy. He’s a heck of a quarterback, a great teammate. He’s a warrior.”
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