There has been a whole lot of smoke and mirrors this offseason when it comes to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Head coach Chuck Pagano maintains he has yet to see his star quarterback make a single throw since undergoing surgery to repair his torn labrum in January. Yet general manager Chris Ballard has maintained Luck might be able to play in Week 1 and won’t start the season on the PUP list.

Adding a bit more mud to these waters, Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke up about Luck’s availability following the team’s 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

“I would say, again, the odds are most likely he probably won’t open up against the Rams,” Irsay said, per Mike Wells of ESPN “But let me be clear about it: In our own minds, it’s something we haven’t ruled out. We’re going to see where he’s at. It would be awesome. We’re not talking Willis Reed here or something like [that].”

Irsay also said Luck has had “No setbacks. Everything is going well. It’s just a question of each individual’s different. When do they feel like they’re ready.”

He also made it very clear the Colts are approaching the entire thing with the next decade in mind, not necessarily the 2017 season.

“He will take the field when he is ready, when he is 100 percent ready to go. OK? This is for the next 12, 14 years. This is not something that we’re going to hurry or anything along those lines.”

The Colts are taking the proper approach here. Fans are freaking out a bit about the prospect of a lost season if Luck continues to remain sidelined as the season begins. And rightly so. This is a team that is deeply flawed in the wake of former general manager Ryan Grigson’s awful roster moves the past handful of years.

Without Luck to keep the offense scoring points, the Colts will tank, and tank hard.

But in the long run, keeping Luck out of the lineup until he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to absorb blows — he’ll definitely get hammered playing behind the team’s porous offensive line — is the smart thing to do.