SEATTLE — Andrew Luck could feel the pressure building as he prepared for his first game action with Indianapolis since the final week of the 2016 season.
When he let go of trying to contain his excitement, the pressure was released.
“I really enjoyed it. I didn’t quite know I’d have this much fun getting practice again. I didn’t know I’d have this much fun even playing football,” Luck said. “It’s a preseason game, I’m not going to blow anything out of proportion, but it’s still a game, a chance to go up against another colour jersey. It was a fun step along the way.”
Luck was back under centre, leading Indianapolis on a pair of field-goal drives in just over a quarter in the Colts’ 19-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
The reintroduction of Luck as the Colts’ leader started with a 17-yard swing pass to Marlon Mack on the first play. It concluded early in the second quarter when his pass intended for T.Y. Hilton was broken up. In between, Luck was bear-hugged by Seattle All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner on a scramble run, sacked by Rasheem Green, and also showed flashes his surgically repaired right shoulder is ready to allow him to again be a premier quarterback.
Luck completed 6 of 9 passes for 64 yards, most of that coming on the opening drive when he hit 5 of 7. Luck completed passes to five receivers and threw from a clean pocket on most of his dropbacks, even with starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo not playing.
It had been nearly 600 days since Luck was last on the field, when he threw for 321 yards in a 24-20 win over Jacksonville on Jan. 1, 2017. For one night, Luck looked like his pre-surgery form.
“He just kept saying how excited he was and right before he went out he said ‘There’s a lot of emotions right now let’s see if I can control them,”‘ Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. “It was almost like he was saying, ‘I’m going to need to control how I’m feeling, because I’m pretty jacked up.’ And he came out in the first drive and handled it like we expected.”
Adam Vinatieri made field goals of 33, 51 and 45 yards in the first half, and Michael Badgley’s 34-yarder late in the third quarter gave Indianapolis a 12-10 lead. Phillip Walker added a 10-yard TD pass to Darrell Daniels early in the fourth quarter.
Luck’s counterpart from the 2012 draft, Russell Wilson, played one series for Seattle. Wilson was 4 of 5 for 43 yards and capped his only drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannett. It was Wilson’s first action playing in the offence of new co-ordinator Brian Schottenheimer, which will be heavily tilted toward …read more