Colts coach insists there is no concern over Andrew Luck’s arm strength
Andrew Luck has now played in three games since returning from a shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, and the results have been mixed. On paper, Luck has not been awful. But to those who watched him before he underwent surgery, he seems like a much different player.
Luck is averaging a career-low 5.3 yards per completion this season, which has led to questions about his arm strength. Colts head coach Frank Reich insisted on Monday that the team has “no concerns” in that department.
“What I’ve seen is he makes all the throws,” Reich told reporters, per Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “There’s been plenty of throws down the field, in my mind … (What) I’ve seen is a guy who is extremely accurate. I have no concerns about velocity.”
Something has certainly changed, whether it is play-calling, decision-making or Luck’s physical ability. 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 can insist all he wants that Luck has regained the arm strength he had before his injury, but 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 even when the two QBs are at their healthiest, but he only needed to make a 54-yard throw to reach the end zone. There’s no way Luck would have been subbed out in that situation two years ago.
It was not that long ago that we heard a report about Luck’s arm strength that was not all that encouraging, so you have to wonder if Reich is being completely transparent.