The Colts, Arizona’s Week 2 opponent, rule out QB Luck for opener

Sep 4, 2017, 9:55 AM | Updated: 4:00 pm
Injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck watches from the sideline during the first half ...
Injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck’s still playing the waiting game.

On Monday, two days after being activated from the physically unable to perform list, the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise quarterback was ruled out of Sunday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

The decision was no surprise considering Luck hasn’t taken a snap or thrown to a teammate since having January surgery on his throwing shoulder. But now, it is official.

“Every player needs to practice,” general manager Chris Ballard said. “They need to be with their teammates. They need to practice. Andrew’s going to need the same thing.”

Ballard did not say how many weeks of practice Luck might need before returning to game action — though it’s likely to be fewer than the six weeks he would have been out had he started the regular season on PUP. Thus, it’s unknown whether Luck will be available for the Colts’ Week 2 meeting with the Arizona Cardinals.

Coach Chuck Pagano was scheduled to take questions Monday afternoon. Luck is not expected to hold his first media availability since players reported to training camp July 29 until at least later this week.

With Luck out, veteran backup Scott Tolzien is likely to make his fourth career start. He is 0-2-1.

Indy added another backup Saturday when it traded receiver Phillip Dorsett, Indy’s 2015 first-round draft pick, to New England for third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Indy released its No. 4 quarterback, Stephen Morris, on Sunday and re-signed undrafted rookie Phillip Walker to the practice squad.

The other unknown is whether Luck will work out with his teammates Monday when Indy usually holds a light session.

Luck has been dealing with shoulder problems since the third game of the 2015 season, when he was injured during a comeback win at Tennessee. Luck missed nine games that season, the last seven with a lacerated kidney, but opted not to rest the shoulder rather than undergo offseason surgery.

The shoulder problems continued in 2016 even though the Colts gave Luck an extra day off to rest each week.

Somehow, Luck managed what was arguably his best statistical season as a pro, completing a career-high 63.5 percent, throwing for 4,240 yards and 31 TDs while reducing his interception total to 13. He missed one game in 2016 while he was in the concussion protocol.

Luck started throwing a tennis ball the week before training camp. Since then, the only time he’s been seen near the practice field was while he was doing stretches.

“I’m being a little extra conservative,” Ballard said. “We want to make sure when we get Andrew back, he can practice every day. We don’t want to jeopardize a little short-term (gain) here over the long haul.”

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