The Colts placed Andrew Luck on injured reserve today.
That this news isn’t entirely surprising makes it no less devastating.
Was Luck going to come back and carry this team into playoffs? No. We crossed that threshold weeks ago. Still, Luck needed to play this season. Much like Paul George returning to the Pacers after a grotesque leg injury; you want your star player in the game not to help the team win, but because they need time to regain confidence in their injured appendage. That time just got moved further into the future and it’s a tragedy.
Ian Rapoport is reporting that Luck won’t need surgery but has been instructed by doctors not to throw for several months.
Let that sink in.
Luck gets hurt in 2015, he plays hurt until December of 16, in January 2017 he has surgery on the injured shoulder. When the news of Luck’s surgery broke the Colts quickly and consistently told understandably anxious fans that their star quarterback would be fine. Yet here we are in November 2017 that star quarterback and the franchise he plays for are not the least bit fine.
When If Luck takes the field next season it will be almost two years since he last played a game of football.
Luck’s injury will cause a ripple effect throughout an already reeling Colts organization. The Colts have spent the last year using the specter of hiring an high-profile coach in the offseason to placate angry fans calling for Chuck Pagano’s head. With the franchise quarterback’s health uncertain, my guess is the line of candidates outside Jim Irsay’s door for a job interview will be shorter than he previously thought. The ever-diminishing trade value of backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is now completely null and void. The Colts are now forced to consider using the high draft position they’re all but certain to secure this year on a quarterback rather than one of their many other areas of need.
Who should be blamed for this cluster-f[redacted]? The Colts medical team? That’s a great place to start. The Colts regularly appear among the teams with the most Adjusted Games Lost, a statistic that shows how many games a team lost due to injuries.
How about the front office? Is Luck’s injury their fault? I’ll let Bill Polian, Hall-of-Fame general manager and architect of Colts teams that made two Super Bowl appearances and won the most games over a decade, speak about that.
“This new staff came in and said, ‘We’re going to be the toughest guys on the block. We’re going to get big road graders, run, stop the run.’ In Indianapolis? With Andrew Luck? In a division where you play 10 games in perfect weather every year? The team you have to beat is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots? And you want to come in and play like you’re playing in the AFC North? That contributed to it because you didn’t have a pass protecting line.”
This is the part where I remind you that Jim Irsay, with the help of the local media, ran Polian out of town and hired Ryan Grigson.
I could go on like this forever, but I wont because anyone with eyes can see that Luck’s injury is the crescendo in the symphony of sadness being conducted by Jim Irsay. Irsay hired a goon to build a team and a buffoon to coach it. They say Nero fiddled as Rome burned and Irsay played guitar while Luck broke.
It seems every week there’s a headline or article proclaiming that the Colts have hit rock bottom. It certainly feels that way today. But rock bottom isn’t a fixed point, it’s not a place you dig to, it’s wherever you stop digging.
Put down the shovel, Mr. Irsay. I’m begging you.