After missing the entire 2017 season with a mysterious, lingering injury to his throwing arm, Andrew Luck is appealing to the Indianapolis faithful for patience as the Colts assemble for Phase 1 of their offseason program.
Toiling through an extraordinarily deliberate rehabilitation program, Luck began throwing again in February. To this point in the process, however, he has yet to reach the next level of throwing "The Duke" -- the NFL's official football.
"When the time is right," Luck explained, "I'll pick it up."
Although the face of the Colts franchise is tempted to accelerate his rehab efforts, he emphasized the importance of diligently following his prescribed timetable.
"I'm not a perfect-feeling athlete right now," Luck conceded. "... One thing I picked up upon myself is that I'm quite impatient as a person. It has gotten into places -- looking back at the rehab -- that maybe I shouldn't have been in, in the first place.
"I don't want to repeat those missteps. I cannot miss steps. I very, very strongly believe in that. Some things just take time and I've learned that. When I do get the urge to do something a little silly, I talk to myself and say it's not worth it right now."
Luck and the organization are taking a cautious stance this offseason after getting burned by their open optimism last year. This time around, those positive expectations are more guarded.
Sitting down with Around The NFL Podcast at the Annual League Meeting late last month, new coach Frank Reich expressed hope that teams selecting ahead of the Colts draft quarterbacks because of the strong belief that Luck will be "ready to go" in Week 1.
"You're hopeful that he's going to be there," Reich added. "You plan that he's going to be there. All the rehab is checking off all the boxes: Yep, we hit that stage. Stage one, stage two, stage three. It's all been good. We'll just have to keep progressing on down that road."
With that Week 1 target date in mind, Colts fans shouldn't expect to read rave reviews of Luck's progress in mastering Reich's offensive scheme during practices over the next two months.
The goal is to be ready for training camp "without a governor on," Luck added, meaning full participation with no limitations. Once he reaches that pivotal stage, the three-time Pro Bowler expects to embark on a successful season that will have him in the running for NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.
"I am very, very confident and very, very optimistic," Luck explained. "I'm going to be absolutely fine and come back better than I was. I think I'll be a better quarterback, a better teammate, a better person and I'm very confident."