WESTFIELD Patriots Cheap Jerseys , Ind. (AP) — Andrew Luck spent two straight offseasons contemplating how it would feel to play football again.
He’ll find out Thursday night.
Coach Frank Reich announced Tuesday that Luck would start and could play most of the first quarter in the Indianapolis Colts‘ preseason opener at Seattle.
“I’ll be excited and a little nervous,” Luck acknowledged after practice. “There were one or two moments where I wondered if, ‘Am I ever going to be able to do this again?'”
He wasn’t the only one asking that question during a nearly 600-day wait between starts. And he’s not the only one who will be nervous lining up against the Seahawks’ traditionally strong defense.
Much has changed since Luck performed in a televised game.
There’s a new general manager and a new coach in town. There’s been another new offense installed and Luck is still trying to learn everybody’s names. Even the once formidable offense has undergone a major revamp.
Rookie Quenton Nelson and free agent signee Matt Slauson have moved in as the new starting guards. Tight Eric Ebron and receiver Ryan Grant are promising new targets for Luck, who will be handing off to second-year running back Marlon Mack for the first time in a game Thursday.
Luck can’t wait to see how it all works together — even if it takes an entire preseason to work out the kinks.
“Every day I feel a little bit better about my technique in those team drills,” he said. “And also I feel better, I feel stronger, I feel more fit, I feel like my arm has a little more in it and a little more in it and a little more in it. I’m certainly feeling more comfortable in the offense.”
That’s all good news for Colts fans who cringed at the notion their bright, young star may never return to his pre-injury form following surgery.
But after looking understandably rusty at his first training camp practice, Luck has shown indications he is getting back to his old ways.
His passes seem crisper, he’s more in sync with his receivers and he’s been able to complete passes consistently through smaller and smaller windows. His final throw Sunday — a 45-yarder on the run across his body for a touchdown to T.Y. Hilton in a two-minute drill — reminded Reich just how close Luck is to being completely healthy.
“We’re doing end of half situation or end of game situation and he’s just bailing out of there, 100 mph and that’s a tough throw to kind of turn and make that,” Reich said. “That’s definitely checking something off (the list).”
Luck figures It’s about time.
He initially hurt the right shoulder in September 2015 against Tennessee, missed the next two games, then returned to make four more starts before sustaining a season-ending lacerated kidney.
Instead of opting for surgery immediately, Luck decided to rest the shoulder. When the pain persisted JK Scott Jersey , he played through it — making 15 starts and turning in arguably his best season as a pro in 2016 before undergoing surgery.
Indy expected Luck to return last season, but he didn’t start throwing till early October and was shut down two weeks later after complaining of more pain. He went on injured reserve in November and didn’t resume throwing footballs again until May.
Luck ramped up his activity during summer workouts in California and finally began practicing with the starting offense for the first time in 18 months after arriving at training camp — albeit on a revised schedule that mimics his regular-season routine.
And now, finally, Luck appears ready to take the next big step in his recovery, even if he only plays a couple of series.
“Part of playing in a game is being able to go through a hurdle when something happens and something doesn’t go right, and surviving in a sense and being able to check off that box in your mind,” he said.
The question, of course, is how the shoulder will react under game conditions, especially when he takes his first hit.
It’s an answer everyone, including Luck, wants to know. But for now, Luck will be content getting acclimated to playing on the big stage again.
“How will warmups feel? What does that feel like? How do you feel when you turn the ball over?” Luck said. “What happens on third-and-long and it’s loud and the headset goes out? What do you call? OK, boom, did we do that well? How would you change that? Checking those boxes off.”
The first round of the NFL draft ended with a few players still left in the green room at AT&T Stadium, including an All-American
Heading into the second round of the draft Iowa All-America cornerback Josh Jackson Vikings Game Jerseys , Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and LSU running Derrius Guice remain available. All three are safe bets to be selected some time Friday, when rounds two and three are completed. It probably won't take too long.
The NFL also invited UCF's Shaquem Griffin to the draft. It was no surprise the linebacker who lost his left hand to amputation as a child did not go in round one. He is one of the draft's biggest wild cards after putting on a show at the combine. It would not be shocking if a team called Griffin on Day 2.
Six more intriguing players likely to come off the board Friday:
Mason Rudolph, QB, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Oklahoma State
There was some talk that Rudolph could slip into the first round and make it a record tying six quarterbacks taken. Instead, he'll look to become the first selected on Day 2. He could be a nice value. Rudolph is a big guy, with a good arm who throws a nice deep ball. The Giants own the second pick of the second round. Maybe he's the guy they can groom to take over for Eli Manning. Denver at 40 could be a possibility along with Miami (42) and New England (43).
Will Hernandez, OG, 6-2, 345, UTEP
Six offensive linemen were taken in the first round, including two centers that could play guard and a tackle that could slide inside. Nobody bit on Hernandez, a powerful run blocker with quick feet. With Cleveland and the Bears among the first to pick in the second round, Hernandez should not have to wait too long to be picked. He might be the best offensive lineman left, though Iowa center James Daniels could be in that discussion Ravens Game Jerseys , too.
Harold Landry, OLB/DE, 6-3, 252, Boston College
Landry was one of the best pass rushers in the country as a junior, but his senior year was wrecked by injuries. He might have to learn a more traditional linebacker's role in the NFL after mostly playing as a defensive end at BC. But he is the best edge rusher left so he probably won't have wait long into second round. The Colts at 36 and 37 could use a boost to the pass rush, but will he fit their new 4-3 defense? The Giants need pass rushers, too. A similar player to watch for is LSU's Arden Key, who was being talked about as a possible top-10 pick before he had a poor and injury plagued 2017 season.
Ronald Jones II, RB, 5-11, 200, Southern California
The darting, slashing runner who always seems to fall forward. Jones is similar to Guice in style but not quite as big and strong. Georgia's Nick Chubb is also still available after three running backs (Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny and Sony Michel) went in the first round. Jones, Guice and Chubb could all be up for consideration for Cleveland (picks 33 and 35) and Tampa Bay (38) early in the second round. All should be off the gone by the end of round two and provide good value.
Maurice Hurst Authentic Justin Bethel Jersey , DT, 6-2, 282, Michigan
Hurst is an undersized tackle with some health concerns, but he was probably the most productive interior defensive lineman in the country last season. Scheme fit will likely be key, but defenses that need tackles who attack gaps and look to be disruptive in the backfield could find a day two steal in Hurst.
Christian Kirk, WR, 5-10, 200, Texas A&M
Only two receivers were selected in the first round (Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore). Next up could be Kirk, who also brings with him some serious skills as a kick and punt returner. He returned seven punts and kicks for touchdowns at A&M. His size might relegate him to slot receiver. If a team is looking for a bigger target, SMU's Courtland Sutton, who is 6-5, is also left.
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