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Andrew Luck could return to Colts practice this week

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Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's path to the field is becoming clearer.

Head coach Chuck Pagano told reporters Monday that Luck (shoulder) is "progressing well" and that he could join practices this week. Luck has not worked out with the team collectively since before a January surgery on his throwing shoulder.

Despite initially expecting him back for the season opener, the Colts (1-2) have attempted to weather life in the surprisingly feisty AFC South without him. Over three weeks, the team has pivoted from entrenched backup Scott Tolzien to former Patriot third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. Brissett went 17-of-24 for 259 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-28 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Even if Luck takes another week to get back (NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday Luck could return in Week 6) the Colts are by no means out of the divisional race after just a handful of games. Luck, who led a team of arguably similar talent to three straight 11-5 seasons to start his career, could end up being the great equalizer over the final three quarters of 2017.

Indianapolis takes on the Seahawks in Seattle this Sunday and San Francisco at home on Oct. 8 before a month-long slog during which they face the Titans in Nashville, the Jaguars at home and the Texans in Houston -- all in a four week period. The Colts would consider themselves fortunate to have Luck back up to speed by then.

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