Andrew Luck brushes off concerns about his arm strength
Questions about Andrew Luck’s surgically-repaired shoulder are going to persist until the quarterback shows he can consistently connect on throws down the field, but Luck insists he is not playing with any physical limitations.
Luck is averaging a career-low 5.3 yards per completion this season, and both he and Colts coach Frank Reich have said that is a product of play-calling and game flow. On Thursday, Luck told reporters he’s confident he can “make all the throws.”
“I know I’m at a level where I can make all the throws, and I feel confident I’m going out there with my full arsenal,” he said, via Jay Ayello of the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t think there’s anything physically holding me back.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Luck ranks 26th in the NFL in passing attempts that travel at least 20 yards in the air down the field. While the sample size is small just three games into the season, he ranked first in that category from 2012 to 2014. Reich said playing on the road against tough opponents the past two weeks has played a role in Indy’s dink-and-dunk approach. He said the intention is never to “play scared” but that sometimes playing in a hostile environment against a good defensive front leads to more short, quick passes.
Many people felt it was very telling that the Colts brought backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett in at the end of Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to attempt a Hail Mary. Brissett has a stronger arm than Luck anyway, but the throw only needed to travel 54 yards to reach the end zone. Starting quarterbacks are almost never subbed out in that situation.