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Irsay: No guarantee Luck is ready for season opener

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A murky return timeline for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck became a little clearer Sunday following a pair of comments made by the team's owner and general manager.

Speaking to the team's broadcasters Sunday, general manager Chris Ballard said that "[Luck] is actually doing really well. His strength levels are probably better right now than they ever were in the last season he played."

Owner Jim Irsay said, via CBS4 in Indianapolis: "I can't say that Luck will be ready for the [regular-season opening] Rams game but he will be ready for the start of the season. He is throwing."

Both confirmed that Luck was throwing regularly after taking extreme caution with his surgically repaired shoulder all offseason.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Irsay also said that the Colts considered a veteran quarterback to backup Luck but the "price was too high." Currently, the team is rolling with 29-year-old career backup Scott Tolzien. Tolzien was with the club last year and made a start while Luck was initially suffering from the shoulder issue that required offseason surgery.

On Sunday, Ballard said Tolzien "has had his moments. He's been a little inconsistent, but he's gotta continue to get reps; get better and get the rhythm in the offense."

While Ballard told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero that Luck would almost certainly be off the Physically Unable to Perform list by the start of the regular season, it seems to be clear that Tolzien will need to make at least one start in the regular season. Irsay initially expected Luck to be on the field for Sept. 10 game against the Rams but could not confirm the date on Sunday. Either way, keeping Luck sidelined for one or two games is a worthwhile price for having him healthy for almost an entire season -- especially if his "strength levels" are really something to gush about.

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