Luck reported to training camp Saturday but will not practice until he’s taken off the active physically unable to perform list, hopefully at some point before the start of the regular season. This is the longest stretch of Luck’s career that he has not been able to practice at any level.
“The mental part was not fun and was not easy,” Luck said. “I know at times I can be unpleasant to be around (for) the guys I work with on a daily basis for eight, nine hours a day. And I commend everybody’s patience to handle me at certain times.
“But I think — and this is cheesy and corny — but the mental test, the physical test, will in the end make me better than I was before mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever you want to call it. I think I do have the opportunity to improve in all of those areas.”
Luck had surgery on his right shoulder, which he originally injured in Week 3 of the 2015 season, in January. He missed the team’s offseason workouts, and it was just less than two weeks ago that he began throwing. In typical Luck fashion, he shied away from saying if his first throw was with a football or another kind of ball.
“It does feel different than it did last year because I still have a ways to go in strength, still have a ways to go,” Luck said. “But I know every day it’s improved and I really feel this way, especially in the last couple weeks, month, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. I truly feel in my mind and in my heart that I know I’m going to be better. I really, really know I’m going to be better.
” … No one wants to miss practice, no one wants to miss training camp but I’m confident that when the time is right for me and when I’m able to practice — whenever that is — that I’ll be up to speed and good enough to be productive in games and give this team my best.”
Colts general manager Chris Ballard said earlier this week that Luck, who is heading into his sixth season, was placed on PUP with the intention of having him ready for the start of the regular season. The Colts open the season Sept. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Veteran Scott Tolzien will continue to work with the starters until Luck, who completed a career-high 63.5 percent of his pass attempts and threw 31 touchdowns last season, returns to practice.
“The end game is for me to be better than I was before I got injured and I don’t want to put a date on that, in a sense,” said Luck, who has missed 10 regular-season games over the past two seasons. “I think that’s really sort of unfair. I know when I’m playing things are going to be weird for a sense. From guys I’ve talked to that have gone through shoulder injuries at this position, it’s different and it takes a little time to sort of find the groove, if you will, and find the rhythm.
“But I think if we continue to stay vigilant with this process, doing it the right way then I will find that groove and I will be better than I was going in.”