Please Save Andrew Luck From The Colts

Stephen Brashear/AP Photo
Stephen Brashear/AP Photo

The Colts got a generational quarterback, put an offensive line made of cheesecloth in front of him, kept starting him after his throwing shoulder started to fall apart, shot him up with painkillers to make sure he could keep throwing and keep getting hit, and now wonder why his arm is so wrecked. All of which is to set up this inevitability: Here comes Jim Irsay to somehow make things worse!


Luck has been shut down for the season—he won’t play until 2018 at the earliest, for an injury he suffered in 2015—and everyone’s looking for someone to blame. Would you believe that the Colts owner is blaming Luck? Yeah, you’d believe it. Former coach Tony Dungy appeared on The Dan Patrick Show, and let slip something he might not have intended. Local reporter Bob Kravitz said this occurred when Dungy thought the show was in commercial.

Patrick asked Dungy about the Luck situation, and Dungy responded, “I don’t know what’s going on there. Jim Irsay made a comment about six weeks ago, ‘It’s inside his head now.’”

Patrick: “Wait, it’s inside Luck’s head?”

Dungy: “Yeah, [Irsay] said that when I was out [in Indianapolis] for Peyton’s ceremony.”

Patrick was stunned. “Wow,” he said. “I really wonder if Luck’s future is in Indianapolis. I really do.”

Dungy didn’t respond initially, then when Patrick brought up the fact that Irsay expected Luck back at the start of the season or early in the season, Dungy replied, “They obviously believed it because they did nothing to prepare for him not being there.”

It was reported last week that Irsay was “furious,” believing he’d been misled on Luck’s recovery. But despite a timetable Luck has never been close to being ready to play, and soreness immediately returned after he tried throwing a football. More pernicious is the idea that Luck is...what? Not mentally tough enough to recover? Shaken? Faking it? This theory from Irsay isn’t new either. Over the summer Irsay held court for reporters and declared, “all sports is played on a four-inch field between your ears...It’s really important that we continue to help Andrew emotionally, mentally, get his confidence.”

I think it’s pretty rich to imply that Luck, who played in two different seasons through a torn labrum and other assorted shoulder debris, might be milking this. And it’s even richer to hear Jim Irsay question anyone else’s mental fitness.

The Colts ruined Andrew Luck—this retrospective could serve as evidence in a criminal case—and now we know he’s being privately called out by the one man who’s never not going to be there, no matter how much the Colts blow things up. For the good of Luck and the good of football, the league should rescue him from Indianapolis’s prison of incompetence.

Deputy editor | Deadspin