There are already concerns over Andrew Luck being able to stay healthy, and cheap shots like the one from Shawn Williams in Sunday won’t help.
After a prolonged recovery from shoulder surgery in January of 2017 that cost him all of last season, and injury concerns before that, the health of Andrew Luck is an ongoing concern for the Indianapolis Colts until proven otherwise. A less than impressive preseason, at least in terms of downfield throwing, did not temper any concerns from outside the team.
But by all accounts Luck was as healthy as possible heading into Sunday’s season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Head shots have no place in football anyway, and the NFL has ramped up fines and punishment for them in recent years. A new helmet rule has opened a possible Pandora’s box of penalties for natural movement by players, but what Bengals safety Shawn Williams did to Luck on Sunday is not that at all.
Luck took off running, was an automatic challenge for Cincinnati’s defenders since he can slide and give himself up at any point. But that’s never been Luck’s mode, at times to his detriment, and he was tackled in sort of a half-slide as he reached the first down marker. The Williams entered the picture late, with a head shot that seems like he could have at least made a better effort to avoid.
Williams’ reputation precedes him a bit, as he led the league in personal foul penalties last year. He got a well-deserved ejection for his hit on Luck, with senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron feeling he needed to publicly back the decision by referee Pete Morelli.
Luck stayed in the game, and appears to be fine (18-for-23 for 167 yards as of this writing). Williams can expect a nice fine letter from the league in the coming days.