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INDIANAPOLIS – The doubts—those horrid nightmares—that Andrew Luck has had over the past year and a half are about to officially be over.
It’s time for Luck to play in a football game again.
For the first time in more than 580 days, Luck will suit up in an NFL football game, as the Colts take on the Seahawks in Thursday’s preseason opener.
“There were one or two moments where I wondered am I ever going to be able to do this again?” Luck admitted on Tuesday morning, following another crisp practice at Grand Park in Westfield.
Luck’s 16-of-20 practice, with one interception, on Tuesday saw him hit 10 different pass catchers. It was also the first time in camp that Luck had thrown in team drills on three consecutive days.
After two weeks of camp, Luck looks like a guy ready to test himself in an uncontrolled game setting.
The ‘nervous excitement’ that Luck felt before his first practice at Grand Park will once again be there as Thursday’s 7:00 p.m. local kickoff in Seattle gets closer.
“I’ll be excited,” Luck repeated on Tuesday. “I’m sure I’ll be very nervous as well.
“I think part of playing in a game is being able to go through a hurdle of being hit or something doesn’t go right, and surviving in a sense, and being able to check that box in your mind.”
The progress of Luck during his 9 practices of throwing has been seen.
Watch Luck operate at camp and he is a quarterback who can make all the throws and find the tight windows that will make a defense go crazy.
“Every day I feel a little bit better about my technique in those team drills,” Luck details about his improvement. “Sometimes it’s pretty obvious. Sometimes it’s not.
“I also feel better. I feel stronger. I feel more fit. I feel like my arm has more in it, and a little more in it, and a little more in it.”
Not only have Luck’s physical strides been evident, the quarterback admits his mental state is better, even than it was pre-injury.
Being away from football for so long has humbled Luck and made him much more appreciative for having such an opportunity.
“I do feel like I’m a little more patient with myself, which in turn I think I’m a little more patient with others,” Luck said, before laughing and acknowledging it’s helped the relationship with his girlfriend.
“I think I’m a little happier with myself and I think that allows me to really enjoy football and it does feel more like a game to me, instead of a job or a profession. I don’t ever want to lose that feeling.”
And Thursday will bring Luck a feeling of pure elation, something he thought he might never experience again.
Here is a look at Luck’s numbers in his 9 practices at Grand Park:
Day 1 (Thursday, 7/26): 11-of-19 in team drills; 4-of-9, 1 INT, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 2 (Friday, 7/27): 15-of-19 in team drills; 7-of-9, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 3 (Sunday, 7/29, full pads): 19-of-22 in team drills; 12-of-14 in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 4 (Tuesday, 7/31, full pads): 24-of-33 in team drills; 17-of-25, 1 INT, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 5 (Wednesday, 8/1, full pads): 16-of-19 in team drills; 9-of-11 in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 6 (Friday, 8/3, full pads): 12-of-16 in team drills; 6-of-9, 1 INT, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 7 (Sunday, 8/5, full pads): 17-of-24 in team drills; 10-of-16, 1 INT, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 8 (Monday, 8/6, full pads): 14-of-19 in team drills; 12-of-15, in 11-on-11 work only.
Day 9 (Tuesday, 8/7): 16-of-20 in team drills; 10-of-14, 1 INT in 11-on-11 work only.
Totals: 144-of-191 (75.4 percent) in team drills; 87-of-122 (71.3 percent) in 11-on-11 work only.
To see some of the throws Luck made on Tuesday, check out my Instagram story.