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4 things Andrew Luck needs to do before he's ready for Week 1

Touchdown Wire logo Touchdown Wire 6/12/2018 Michael Colangelo

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Something has happened that no one has seen for a long, long time. Andrew Luck finally threw a real regular sized football! It's been over a year since someone saw that happen. Luck said he's going to be ready for Week 1. Here's what he needs to accomplish to prove to the Colts that he's actually ready to go.

Throw more footballs

He threw footballs in public for exactly one day. Let's see how his shoulder reacts. Let's see him throw for multiple days in a row. He's going to have to throw in practice during the season. He's going to have to be on the field. One day and pain isn't the same as throwing every day and having no pain.

Take a hit

Throwing footballs in shorts and a helmet is a lot different than throwing in full pads. It's even more different than throwing a football while taking a hit. No one knows what is going to happen when a 300-pound defensive lineman hits Luck and lands on his shoulder. That's a different ballgame.

Luck isn't going to get hit in practice. He is going to see very little time during preseason games. Players react differently to injuries. Luck needs to get hit while throwing for anyone to believe he is back.

Play without pain

This means playing without any pain. Luck rushed himself back which made him miss an entire season. Even a little pain could force him back under the knife. It could mean the end of his career. Maybe Luck will always have pain in his throwing shoulder. That's something he might have to deal with.

Hit every throw

We need to see Luck hit every throw. He needs to hit the deep out. He needs to air out the ball to T.Y. Hilton. He needs to be accurate. Some players never return to form after surgery. Peyton Manning didn't have the same zip on the football after surgeries on his neck. Luck's shoulder isn't Manning's neck, but Luck needs to show he can make all the throws he could before his injury.

If he can't do that - because some players are never the same after big injuries - he needs to prove he can change his game. Maybe that mean's he's not as physical in the rushing game when the pocket breaks down. Maybe it means he needs to time his throws rather than rely on pure arm strength. We need to make sure that Luck can hit every throw even if he lost velocity.

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