The Indianapolis Colts are clearly relying on Andrew Luck to make a successful return to action this season, having abstained from selecting a single quarterback during the 2018 NFL Draft. Owner Jim Irsay made this even more clear in some post-draft comments, touting Luck as a special player who has the ability to take his franchise to the limit and calling him “a magic man.”
“Only Andrew can decide how far away we are because he’s a magic man,” Irsay said, per Mike Wells of ESPN. “There’s only a few magic men. You know who they are. I don’t have to name them. If he’s healthy and he’s back, he makes up for a lot of deficiencies.
“Can he take you all the way? We’ll have to see how [general manager] Chris [Ballard] is in plugging some of the holes, particularly on defense. But when you have a guy like that, it’s hard to say how many deficiencies he can cover up because he’s special. You guys have seen it.”
The team has staunchly stood by the notion that Luck will be healthy this year, unlike last season when he missed all 16 games due to complications stemming from shoulder surgery in January of 2017. Irsay spoke about that as well during the interview session with reporters.
“I know you guys are like, ‘Jim are you sure?’ Yes, I’m sure. Sure as a human being can be,” Irsay said. “You’re adding Andrew Luck and he’s doing very well. That alone changes things. All of us, including Andrew, we were all surprised that he didn’t play football last year.”
One of the most talented young passers in the league when healthy, Luck had three outstanding seasons in a row from 2012-14 before injuries derailed his career. Hoping to significantly improve his chances of staying upright this season, the Colts selected two offensive linemen in their first three draft picks, Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame and Braden Smith out of Auburn.
General manager Chris Ballard has clearly prioritized protecting Luck. He’s also turned down trade offers for the talented quarterback. The Colts want Luck to be their magic man and are still 100 percent behind him to be the face of the franchise going forward.