Andrew Luck rarely shies away from serious contact, but Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano wants his quarterback to be smarter.
According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, Pagano said Luck needs to make his health the top priority so he doesn’t hurt the team.
“We’re going to talk every day until he figures it out and we figure it out as a team. He knows full well that he can’t do that. He can’t put himself and this team in jeopardy. You love the grit, and you love the toughness and all that stuff. But playing the position like a linebacker? You can’t.”
Luck is currently sidelined due to a lacerated kidney and abdominal injuries, which sounds like approximately zero fun for anyone. He also reportedly battled through broken ribs earlier this season.
However, those injuries weren’t necessarily the result of a freak play or a hard sack. Luck is a superb scrambler, but the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder rarely slides to finish his runs, instead attempting to power through a defender and pick up a few more yards for the offense.
That good-intent vulnerability has led to various ailments—and big hits.
Luck will probably change his scrambling style, but it’s not going to be an overnight process. He’s done this in the public eyes since his days at Stanford, where he trucked a defensive back and obliterated a linebacker.
Eventually, Luck will find the balance between extra yards and unnecessary hits. It’s unfortunate Luck has to change his style, but an internal injury isn’t an insignificant problem.