Andrew Luck returns to field for first time 19 months

Indianapolis Colts

After a 19-month absence from the field, Andrew Luck returned in the Colts first preseason game in Seattle. He didn’t do much, but just playing was enough.

To cap off the Indianapolis Colts’ first drive of the preseason, Andrew Luck scrambled for one yard and was thrown to the ground by two Seahawks defenders. Luck stood up and cheerfully screamed. He’s back.

The last time Luck saw game action was Week 17 of the 2016 season, a 24-20 win over the Jaguars. He threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns.

Indianapolis missed out on the playoffs that year, so Luck soon after opted to have a torn labrum in his right shoulder surgically repaired. The joint had been ailing him since the previous season.

Luck was expected to be ready by the beginning of the 2017 regular season, but he didn’t take a single snap. He was not ready to throw a football at a professional level.

Luck began throwing in training camp last momth, but fans still wanted to see how he would fare in a real game. Traveling to Seattle for the first of four Colts preseason games, Luck would finally see the field.

First-year head coach Frank Reich didn’t seem to want Luck to do too much, as he played two series and didn’t make many downfield throws. All but one of Luck’s nine attempts came in the form of screens or short check-downs.

Luck did try to thread the needle to T.Y.01 Hilton on a third-and-12 that fell incomplete, but the catch attempt was interfered with — giving Indianapolis a first down.

Luck finished 6-of-9 for 64 yards. It’s hard to make much of short pass attempts, but his throwing motion looked normal and the passes had juice behind them. He also took a sack and popped right back up.

Starters don’t play in the fourth preseason game, but Luck could continue to see extended play time in the next two contests to continue to help him get back into the flow of things.

Next: Saquon Barkley kicks off Giants career with a bang

This reserved showing from Luck was expected and smart, but moving forward he is going to need to start testing that deep ball a little bit more.

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