INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck may soon be the highest-paid player on an NFL scout team.
It could even happen later this week.
After ruling out Luck for Sunday night’s game in Seattle, coach Chuck Pagano provided an update about his star quarterback’s progression from off-season shoulder surgery.
"There might be a chance, I’ll know more probably Wednesday, he might be able to start some practice this week," Pagano said Monday. "I’m not guaranteeing nothing."
The previous two Mondays, Pagano left no doubt. Each time he told reporters Luck would not play or practice during the week.
Colts fans have waited anxiously for good news, or really any news, about Luck’s status, which has been a closely guarded secret for months.
After undergoing surgery for a partially torn labrum in January, Luck missed all of the Colts’ off-season workouts, all of training camp and the entire preseason.
He started training camp on the physically unable to perform list and wasn’t activated until the final cuts Sept. 2.
Had Luck remained on the list, he wouldn’t have been eligible to practice for six more weeks.
By activating him, rather than clearing a roster spot, it appeared Indy (1-2) thought he would be back sooner than that.
Three weeks into the season, Luck’s name has continued to appear under the heading "did not participate" of the daily injury report. That could, finally, be about to change.
"Again, there’s a chance, and if it happens, it happens," Pagano said. "But there’s going to be a period of time where he needs just practice."
Pagano didn’t put a timetable on how long that process would take or how many more games Luck might miss.
But there is a plan.
"I think you’d integrate him back into practice just like we did on Vontae (Davis) last week," he said. "We got him (Davis) on the card (scout) team."
It would probably be the first time since redshirting at Stanford that Luck didn’t take snaps with the starting offence.
Luck hasn’t spoken with reporters since July 29, the day players reported to camp.
Of course, getting Luck back would be a boon to the Colts.
Without him, they’ll continue to stick with Jacoby Brissett whose improved play will give Indy the benefit of making sure Luck is fully healthy when he returns.
Since being acquired from New England on Sept. 2, Brissett has played in three games and gone 1-1 as the starter.
He’s 39 of 64 with 526 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for two TDs in Sunday’s 31-28 victory over Cleveland, and has turned the heads of coaches, teammates, and fans alike.
"He’s done a great job in the short period of time since he’s been here," Pagano said. "He had experience, he’d started games, he’d played games. He had all that under his belt. But he’s put the time in."
Luck isn’t the only key player on the mend for Indy.
Pagano expects to have Davis, a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, on the field Sunday. Davis injured his groin during the Colts’ third preseason game and returned to practice on a limited basis a little more than a week ago.
Starting centre Ryan Kelly also could return Wednesday. He has been out since breaking his foot during a joint practice against Detroit in early August, an injury that required surgery.
"Every day I’m getting closer, I’m not really sure on a timeline," Kelly said before Pagano spoke. "The last time I got down in this stance and hit someone was against Detroit. So that’s been seven or eight weeks."
But, as usual, the focus is all on Luck.
"Andrew, you know, has been progressing well, getting stronger," Pagano said. "When our doctors and our trainers tell me he’s at a point he can get out there and practice, then I’ll be able to tell you."
NOTES: Running back Marlon Mack (shoulder) and receiver Chester Rogers (hamstring) continue to be listed as week to week. Pagano said rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson (knee) and rookie linebacker Anthony Walker (hamstring) will be "question marks" this week. … The Colts waived wide receiver Matt Hazel.