- Jonathan Ferrey/Getty
- The Indianapolis Colts are currently conducting interviews for a new head coach.
- Perhaps the biggest appeal of the Colts’ job is having Andrew Luck, one of the few franchise quarterbacks in the NFL.
- However, Luck’s injury, which forced him to miss the entire 2017 season, is also the biggest concern for any coach taking the job.
The Indianapolis Colts are one of several teams searching for a new head coach this offseason.
While every opening has its own appeals and drawbacks, the Colts is uniquely enticing in that they have a franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck.
While Luck has battled injuries the last two seasons, missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury, he also had the NFL world drooling over him going into 2015. In 2016, even while hurt and playing behind a leaky offensive line, Luck completed 63% of his passes, thew for over 4,000 yards, with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and posted a 96 passer rating.
In fact, outside of Luck, there aren’t many draws to a Colts team that has struggled on both sides of the football, particularly without their star quarterback.
Yet Luck is also perhaps the biggest concern for a coach taking the Colts job. As David Kaplan of Sports Talk Chicago reported, Matt Nagy, who was hired as the Chicago Bears head coach, preferred the Bears over the Colts, in part, because of the uncertainty around Luck.
Ben Volin of The Boston Globe also tweeted that Luck is a “wild card” to many around the league.
Some of the concerns over Luck have stemmed from how the Colts handled his injury. Luck missed training camp and preseason, but the Colts kept saying they believed he would be back on the field quickly, with owner Jim Irsay saying he even thought Luck could play in Week 1.
When Luck did return to practice mid-season, he was almost immediately shut down again with shoulder soreness. He was later placed on the IR, ending his season.
Luck then went to the Netherlands to receive treatment on his shoulder, and in December, upon returning, told reporters, not very reassuringly, “My gut and my feeling tells me that I do not need another surgery.”
Still, at this point, Luck has not played a real football game since 2016. The NFL has seen what a healthy Luck can do on the field, but what he’ll look like following shoulder surgery and a missed season is somewhat of a mystery.
The Colts are reportedly interested in Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who in turn has been rumored to be interested in them. Luck is surely one of the biggest draws, especially since McDaniels has worked with Tom Brady for nine years.
But any coach that takes the Colts job will be making a leap in faith that Luck will not only be healthy for the 2018 season, but that he can look like the young quarterback who at one point was poised to take over the league.