Coach Frank Reich said Friday he expects the starting quarterback to miss at least three more practices with a strained left calf, likely keeping him off the field until Wednesday, when the Cleveland Browns come to town for a joint practice.
”He is continuing to progress with his strength, which is awesome,” Reich said on a conference call. ”But there still is a degree of pain that he is not comfortable with. Obviously, we are not comfortable with putting him out there.”
The injury kept Luck out of the Colts’ offseason workouts and he was sidelined again after practicing three times over the first four days of training camp, though he never took a snap in full team drills.
Backup Jacoby Brissett has worked with the starting offense. Brissett played most of the first quarter in Thursday’s 24-16 loss at Buffalo before turning things over to Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly, the nephew of former Bills star Jim Kelly.
Reich declined to say whether Luck’s injury might prompt the Colts to activate three quarterbacks for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
”We remain confident and optimistic on Andrew’s situation,” Reich said. ”But again, it’s still day-to-day and working through that plan, what is the best plan for him, for the team. So we will just adjust as needed, if needed.”
Luck led the Colts to the playoffs for the first time in four years last season and won the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award after returning from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the 2017 season.
Luck isn’t the only star player dealing with an injury.
The Colts also acknowledged Friday that Vinatieri was held out of Thursday’s game because of a knee injury. The 46-year-old, four-time Super Bowl champion broke the league’s career scoring record last season and would become the third player in league history to suit up for a game at age 47 – if he plays in Indy’s regular season finale at Jacksonville.
Reich doesn’t anticipate being without Vinatieri for long.
”He is dealing with a little bit of a knee issue but not anything that’s going to be a problem,” Reich said.
Reich said no decision has been made yet about whether receiver Parris Campbell or defensive end/linebacker Ben Banogu, two draft picks who have sat out with hamstring injuries, will return to practice Saturday.
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