In a perfect world, Andrew Luck would have added on to what he did last week and looked ready for the regular season. You could have drafted him with full confidence for your fantasy team.
But Luck’s comeback will have some ups and downs. When a quarterback misses a year-and-a-half due to shoulder surgery, it’s probably best to not expect him to step on the football field and dominate like he never left.
Luck took a step back on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. He misfired on some passes, held the ball too long on other plays, threw an interception on a forced pass in the red zone and didn’t lead a touchdown drive. The only points the Indianapolis Colts scored in his quarter-and-a-half of work came on a 57-yard field goal from the amazing Adam Vinatieri.
Though Luck wasn’t at his best, it’s also fair to point out that he didn’t have much help.
Colts were banged up around Andrew Luck
Luck will hopefully have more help when the games start. Top receiver T.Y. Hilton was out with a shoulder injury, and the Colts don’t have the depth to make up for that. The Colts were short on the offensive line; left tackle Anthony Castonzo was held out. Indianapolis was also without running back Marlon Mack, and the running game did almost nothing when Luck was in the game.
Colts receivers dropped passes, Luck was under consistent pressure and there was no balance to the offense. So it might not be fair to judge Luck too harshly.
It’s also not like the Colts are going to turn into a Super Bowl contender before Week 1. The running game probably won’t be that good no matter who is healthy enough to run the ball. The group of receivers will rely too heavily on Hilton. The offensive line won’t be great. A lot is going to be on Luck’s plate this season because the roster around him is still a work in progress.
Luck struggles a bit against Ravens
Luck’s final line wasn’t good. He went 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception. The interception came when Luck rolled to his right, didn’t have anyone open but tried to squeeze in a pass and it was tipped up by cornerback Anthony Levine.
Luck had some nice throws. He stepped up in the pocket on one play and threw a dart to tight end Jack Doyle for a first down. Another pass to Doyle running down the seam came on a nice read and gained 16 yards. But he looked a lot rustier overall than last week at Seattle, when he went 6-of-9 for 64 yards.
Luck is learning a new system under coach Frank Reich. He wasn’t working with a full lineup of starting-caliber players around him on Monday night. And he has played just a few dozen plays dating back to the end of the 2016 season.
It might take time before Luck gets back to the level he set his first few seasons in the league. Monday night was a reminder that patience will be important.
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