After years of taking a beating without significant injury, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback missed nine games last season. His season ended with a lacerated kidney after a brutal hit on a quarterback scramble.
It's the type of hit that owner Jim Irsay wants Luck to avoid in the future.
"One thing we did talk about internally was to make sure he does have the slide down," Irsay said, via ESPN.com. "If we have to bring in a baseball player or baseball coach to talk about sliding. (Seattle quarterback) Russell Wilson is a baseball player, and when he slides, he does it so naturally. Andrew's struggled a little bit more, but I think that's just his competitive nature saying, 'Do I shut it down or get those 2 extra yards?' His competitive nature just gets to him.
"But he has to stay healthy. That's part of his legacy. You can't be a great player in this league if you don't stay healthy. Everyone knows that. You just can't. I think about Bob Sanders. What a great, great player. ... But those injuries and the shortness of his career, that's a tough, tough thing."
Baseball sliding can be a struggle for quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III famously authors some of the worst slides ever committed by a svelte athlete.
Triple-A manager Dean Treanor of the Indianapolis Indians told ESPN he'd volunteer to help teach Luck how to baseball slide to better protect himself. Treanor noted that the technique is not as easy as it seems -- even though seven year olds do it every summer on baseball diamonds across America -- and even professional players go through sliding training every spring.
With Luck set to get a massive contract extension that should easily make him the highest paid player in the NFL, the Colts are right to worry about his durability.
No one is questioning Luck's toughness or competitive fire. Sometimes fighting for an extra yard is necessary. Sometimes giving up on a battle to ensure there is still a chance to win the war is prudent.