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Andrew Luck’s Comeback


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Andrew Luck appears to be in line to win the Comeback Player of the Year award. But it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Around this time last year, he was still recovering from a repaired right shoulder. The recovery was taking longer than he expected. For the first time in his career, Luck was wondering if he would be able to continue playing football.

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But now, as the Colts look ahead to their wildcard matchup against the Houston Texans on Saturday, all that has changed. Luck has come back from his injury, and come back strong. He’s led his Indianapolis Colts to their first playoff appearance since 2014.

Luck’s Perspective  

Sometimes an injury can be good for a player. After dealing with pain in his shoulder for two years and finally getting surgery, Luck was able to get on the path to recovery. Through this experience he gained a new perspective on football. Earlier in his career he never let himself have fun on the field, but rather treated playing quarterback like a job. Now that he’s healthy again, he’s grateful for the chance to play again. He’s been approaching every game with that sense of gratitude and trying to enjoy himself on the field.

This approach seems to be working. For the first time in four seasons, the Colts have a shot at going the distance. Luck couldn’t be happier to be playing another game of football. It seems he’s taken some of the pressure off and shifted his focus to merely playing the game he loves. Saturday’s game against Houston is another challenge and another opportunity for Luck to play football. Looking at it that way, instead of a must-win game to keep the season going, seems to be the secret ingredient for Luck’s recent success.

Luck’s 2018 Season 

Football fans are hard-pressed to find someone to measure up to Luck for the Comeback of the Year award. He’s put up good numbers this year, and that’s hard to do after coming off an injury. Luck threw for 4,539 yards this season with 39 touchdown passes. He had several career bests as well. In both completions and attempts, Luck bested himself with 430 and 639, respectively.

After his best season yet, it’s hard to remember that Luck didn’t play a single down last year. Who else has had a comeback like that this year?

Drew Brees has been very vocal about his admiration of Luck. According to the Saints’ quarterback, Luck is a no-brainer for the Comeback award. And it’s hard to argue with him. Not only has Luck rehabbed his injury, but he’s improved since the surgery. It’s understandable for a player to come back after an injury and not be themselves, losing velocity on throws or playing more cautiously. But not Luck. He’s attacked his rehab and return to football like he does any play on the field, with tenacity and determination.

How Did Luck Do It?  

When Adrian Peterson came back after his knee injury he was tougher than ever, being more physical than the previous season, if that’s possible. Luck has gone in a different direction. He’s changed his style of play altogether. While Peterson doubled down, Luck has adapted.

He’s worked closely with Coach Frank Reich to figure out an offense that works for Luck and the Colts alike. Luck now makes quicker and smarter passes with the goal of getting the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible.

Changing a playing style isn’t easy for any quarterback. And doing it after an injury is even tougher. But Luck seems to be getting very comfortable with his new style of play. The Houston defense has their work cut out for them on Saturday.

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