It has been 616 days since Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck last played in a regular-season football game. Luck sat out the entire 2017 season while recovering from surgery on the labrum of his throwing shoulder. The team insisted throughout the season that Luck was nearing a return, but that return never happened. Luck finally got back on the field again during the 2018 preseason and training camp, and later on Sunday will play again for the first time in nearly two years.
But the labrum year that necessitated surgery was apparently not the only shoulder injury Luck suffered during his career. He also sprained the AC joint of his shoulder in a previously unreported snowboarding accident that took place during the 2016 offseason.
Earlier this week, in a conversation with NFL.com, Luck detailed a previously secret injury to his right shoulder that either complicated his recovery or made him realize how lucky he was.
Luck confirmed that during the winter of 2016 he was in a snowboarding accident in Colorado that left him with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. It was the offseason after the labrum tear against the Titans in 2015, the offseason after he lacerated his kidney on the field. And yes, he still went snowboarding. No, he will not be doing that again.
Luck told NFL.com that he does not believe that the sprained AC joint was an issue in delaying his recovery from surgery on his labrum. “I’ve seen more doctors than I can count on two hands over the past two or three years,” said said. “And the consensus — unanimous — is that the AC is not an issue, nor did it have an effect. The labrum is an issue.”
According to NFL.com, Luck told the Colts about the snowboarding injury right away, so this revelation does not come as news to the team. It does, however, come as major news to an NFL community who watched Luck sit out all of last season wondering if or when he would ever return from his surgery. Luck’s insistence that the sprained AC joint did not affect his recovery is not likely to quell speculation that it actually did, and that speculation will likely only grow if he does not return to his previous level of play now that he’s getting back on the field.
The Colts need not worry, however, because Luck won’t be snowboarding again anytime soon. “I don’t snowboard anymore,” he said. “And this was after the initial injury. I went back, rehabbed it with the Colts. I’ve had a bunch of AC sprains, both left and right shoulder, and resolved that issue. But the labrum has been my issue, was my issue, what I worked through, what I got surgery on.”