AT 2-4 the Indianapolis Colts still find themselves in the race for a division title after a month and a half of football. At the start of the NFL season, they were expected to finish around .500 and maybe compete for the AFC South banner or a wildcard spot if things went according to plan. Things have not gone according to plan. To make matters worse the pending return of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck has been further postponed as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. With an OK roster, a first-year GM and established coach all likely to stick around, should the Colts throw the rest of 2017 and give Luck the rest he clearly needs?

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THE issues Luck is facing aren’t exactly new ones, with the former No. 1 pick struggling to stay healthy for the past few seasons. Ever since he lit up the NFL in 2014 with an AFC Championship appearance, a league-high 40 touchdown passes and the third highest passing yard total (4,761), Luck has managed just 22 of a possible 38 games. In the games Luck has missed, the Colts have registered an 8-8 win-loss tally, hardly inspiring, but a sign that there has still been talent on the team without Luck under center.
NFL: AFC Wildcard Playoff-Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis ColtsImage from andrewjweber.com

YOU can see Jacoby Brissett is doing his best to help keep Indianapolis in the mix and, to be honest, he looks better with every game that passes. He isn’t as good as Andrew Luck though and it’s quite clear that for this team to push to the playoffs they need Luck back in uniform. After missing the first six games of the season it seemed like the former Stanford play caller was close to returning, but this week the Colts confirmed that they would shut him down for the time being, hopeful that he would be ready to return for the latter part of the season (perhaps after their Week 11 bye).

WHAT is the point in rushing him back into the team though? There’s a very real chance that Luck isn’t going to be 100% upon his return, so why not throw away the rest of this season and snag a high draft pick? Most of the time a team tanks it’s to try and get a franchise changing quarterback, but if they already have him on their roster there’s no reason they can’t a pick inside the top 10 into a difference maker at another position or better still, trade back and acquire future assets.

AT the age of 28, Luck still has plenty of good football left in him and it may seem like a waste to shut him down for 2017. However, I can’t see a scenario where Indianapolis is in the position to win this year’s SuperBowl. With a few more pieces and a healthy Andrew Luck is SuperBowl LII out of the equation? Who knows. But without Luck healthy, they won’t be winning anything. Therefore it makes way too much sense to shut him down, get him healthy and charge full steam ahead into 2018.

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