What do the Indianapolis Colts do with Andrew Luck?

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin /
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The Indianapolis Colts started the season without Andrew Luck and endured a horrible blowout loss in LA to the Rams.

Andrew Luck still finds his status unknown as he continues to recover from a January shoulder surgery. The three-time Pro Bowler has been removed from the PUP list but is still yet to practice.

Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett each took snaps in the week one drubbing and it seems as though the pair will see the field for a few more weeks yet. According to Ian Rapoport, Luck may even be out until October.

By this time Indy’s season could be as good as over in terms of any slim playoff hopes.

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Luck’s absence exposes this roster as potentially the weakest in the NFL. The offense committed three turnovers in week one and it won’t get any easier in week two against Arizona’s ball hawking secondary.

Neither will pass protection, another area in which major flaws were highlighted as an Aaron Donald-less Rams defense got to the quarterback four times at the Coliseum.

As things stand, it’s highly questionable whether Tolzien or Brissett have the ability to lead this roster to any kind of respectable win total. Never mind the playoffs and beyond.

The lack of talent has been an issue for a number of years now in Indy and the current state of affairs shows just how valuable Luck is to the Colts. The fact that the former Stanford quarterback carried a lacklustre roster to three straight 11-5 seasons and an AFC Championship appearance is frankly a miracle of near biblical proportions.

Throw in to the mix the turmoil between Chuck Pagano and former GM Ryan Grigson, who takes the lions share of the blame for the awful roster, and Luck’s successes become even more impressive.

He has thrived in the face of chaos and has paid for putting the franchise on his back with a series of damaging injuries that may leave him a mere shadow of the quarterback he once was when he finally returns to an NFL field.

His offensive line has never been good in five years, and his time off attests to that. So, in the current state of carnage the franchise finds itself in, what do they do with Luck?

The answer may seem obvious on the face of things, but a series of mitigating circumstances throw into serious question his ability to return and perform at the exceedingly high level he has in the past.

And even if he can rediscover the kind of play he marvelled with in years 1,2 and 3, when is the right time to reintroduce him?

As it stands, owner Jim Irsay and GM Chris Ballard have five clear options available to them.