INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck’s return to practice has been put on hold at least one more week.
On Wednesday, two days after explaining there was “a chance” the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise quarterback could be back this week, coach Chuck Pagano ruled it out.
“He’s still a week away as far as his throwing progression and things like that,” Pagano said. “So we’ll keep him out of practice this week and hopefully integrate him next week.”
While fans reacted on social media with consternation about the latest update, the fact there is now some sort of timetable actually remains encouraging.
From the moment Luck had surgery on his throwing shoulder in January until this week, the Colts have avoided talking publicly about his progression or how soon he might suit up.
Now, it appears, Luck is getting close .
Television crews arrived early Wednesday at team headquarters, setting up shop in the parking lot for Luck’s long anticipated return. A couple of hours later, Pagano dashed any hope of it happening before the team leaves for Seattle (1-2).
“Nothing changed. We said we were hopeful,” Pagano said. “He’s going great, there’s no setback. Nothing’s changed. It didn’t work out.”
Even if Luck had been cleared, he wouldn’t have played Sunday night. Pagano already had ruled him out Monday, the third consecutive time he’s done that.
Luck missed all of Indy’s offseason workouts, all of training camp and the entire preseason after having a partially torn labrum repaired in his throwing shoulder.
General manager Chris Ballard repeatedly said the Colts would not rush back their best player.
The emergence of Jacoby Brissett might buy Indy (1-2) some time, too. Brissett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in last weekend’s 31-28 victory over Cleveland after nearly leading the Colts to a Week 2 win.
This week, he faces a more daunting challenge against Seattle’s staunch defense inside one of the league’s loudest stadiums.
“We’re playing at night time now,” Brissett said. “There will be a lot of drunk people, so it should be pretty loud.”
The Colts are just 4-10 in prime time since the “Deflategate” game in January 2014 and haven’t played at Seattle since Dec. 24, 2005.
And now they’re asking a second-year player acquired in a Sept. 2 trade from New England to deliver again. Brissett doesn’t even know the whole playbook yet.
But if he needs advice about what to expect, running back Frank Gore will gladly help.
“It’s tough when you can’t hear the quarterback,” the longtime San Francisco 49ers star said. “This is the loudest stadium I’ve been to and you know they feed off that, they feed off the crowd. So you’ve got to make plays and move the ball up and down the field.”
That won’t be easy with the Colts at less than full strength.
Starting center Ryan Kelly returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday — his first appearance in uniform since breaking his foot Aug. 10.
Marlon Mack, Gore’s backup, and Kamar Aiken, who started at receiver last week, both missed practice. Mack missed last week’s game with an injured shoulder, Aiken is going through the concussion protocol.
The best news: Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis participated in his first full workout since hurting his groin in the Colts’ third preseason game and should play against the Seahawks. He can’t wait.
“Something like that,” Davis said before describing what the secondary must do in coverage as Russell Wilson moves around. “If he (the receiver) goes to the concession stand to get popcorn, you better be right there with him. You better be pouring the popcorn for him.”
Regardless, the big question is Luck’s situation. What’s the holdup?
“You get with the doctor, you get with those guys and they’ll explain it you,” Pagano said. “If you can get those guys to come in here and talk to you.”
NOTES: Two other cornerbacks, Quincy Wilson (knee) and Chris Milton (hamstring), also did not practice. … Indy promoted rookie receiver Krishawn Hogan to the active roster. He is the first player from Marian University, in Indianapolis, to play in the NFL. … The Colts also added receiver Matt Hazel, running back Troymaine Pope and cornerback Channing Stribling to the practice squad.