Colts rule out QB Luck for season

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck will spend a second offseason recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Indianapolis Colts put Luck on injured reserve Thursday, marking the end of his season and the beginning of a different rehab program that team officials believe will get their star quarterback on the field next fall.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard made the announcement during a surprise news conference at the team complex.

“I’ve heard all sorts of rumors about career-ending,” Ballard said. “That’s not the case here. I’ve not got that from one doctor. Career-ending is putting him out on the field before he’s ready to play. That’s where you should be concerned.”

Indianapolis (2-6) never did rush Luck.

After having surgery in January for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, Luck missed all of Indy’s offseason workouts, all of training camp, the entire preseason and now the entire 16-game regular season.

Luck didn’t even start throwing to teammates until early October and was limited to throwing every other day. Just two weeks later, he was “shut down” because of soreness his right shoulder.

So with the Colts struggling, their playoff hopes fading fast and Luck apparently not ready to play, Indianapolis decided to make the smart, cautious move — even if it wasn’t Luck’s preference.

“I wish I was better and 100 percent this season, but that’s not the case,” Luck told the team’s website, Colts.com. “I know I’ll be better from this. I know I’ll be a better quarterback, teammate, person and player from this, and I’m excited for the future.”

If Luck is ready to start the 2018 season opener, he would go more than 20 months between regular-season snaps.

What changes will be made to the rehab program?

Ballard said Luck will work out in multiple locations and will use a different routine to help him regain his strength. For now, throwing is out and there are no plans for additional surgery.

Instead, Ballard continues to preach patience.

Dr. Amin Tehrany, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders and knees and is a founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York, understands why the length of the recovery worries fans.

“It’s a little unusual,” said Tehrany, who hasn’t examined Luck. “The question is how severe was the injury, how much surgery was required and what type of surgery was required.

“He also seems to have had the injury for a long time, two years. When the complaints of the injury linger for a long time, the recovery takes longer.”

NFL: Elliott appeal has no shot

NEW YORK — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has no chance with his latest attempt to delay a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, NFL lawyers said Thursday.

The attorneys told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that it should not interfere with Elliott beginning his suspension Sunday when the Cowboys play Kansas City at home because the NFL Players Association “has no likelihood of success on appeal.”

The union has asked the court to block the start of the suspension until it considers its request to overturn a lower-court ruling on the grounds that Elliott’s career will be irreparably harmed if his suspension begins now.

The league said in a written submission that the public, including NFL fans and victims of abuse, have a “strong interest” in seeing that penalties stemming from domestic abuse by NFL players are promptly investigated and that discipline is imposed in a timely manner.

It said “swift discipline” should not be manipulated by players and teams seeking to strategically time court challenges so that suspensions are served when they play weaker opponents or when an injury would already require a player to remain off the field.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled Monday that the 22-year-old athlete must begin the suspension that was imposed in August after the league investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with his then-girlfriend.

The union said Failla erred by ruling that the NFL’s claims were supported by federal labor law because the league followed the collective bargaining agreement in suspending Elliott.

Lawyers for the players association said Failla was the first judge ever to have “concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm” when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

Chiefs’ Hali back at practice

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali returned to practice for the first time since the end of last season, though it’s unclear when he will be activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Hali’s return Thursday begins a three-week window in which the Chiefs must decide whether to activate Hali or shut him down for the season. The 33-year-old Hali missed the offseason program and all of training camp to rest and rehabilitate his ailing knees.

The Chiefs, who visit Dallas on Sunday, could use Hali’s help after losing Dee Ford to a back injury in Monday night’s game against Denver. Ford has not practiced this week.

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