Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck Must Protect Himself Better


Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck missed nine games last season due to injury. If the Colts will want to succeed in 2016, Luck will need to protect himself better.

The Indianapolis Colts were favorites to win Super Bowl 50 by various experts and analysts before the start of the 2015-16 NFL season. Instead, they cycled through three starting quarterbacks which resulted in an eight-win season and the Colt’s missing the playoffs for just the second time in 14 seasons.

It goes without saying that the team’s gosh-awful play from the offensive line was a big reason for Luck taking so many hits in 2015. Rather than beating a dead horse and talking about the offensive line, the topic of Luck needing to slide more and learn to get rid of the ball a lot quicker should be discussed if he wants longevity and maximum success throughout his time in the league.

Recall the Colts win at home against the Denver Broncos when Luck suffered a lacerated kidney from linebacker Danny Trevathan. It was early in the fourth quarter on a second-down play that Luck suffered the hit when he fought for extra yards rather than sliding and shielding himself from serious injury.

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Luck finished the game and ultimately lead the Colts to the victory, but paid the price when the team announced that he would miss two-to-six weeks from the injury. Luck would never see the field again for the rest of the year.

Had Luck slid and avoided Trevathan’s tackle he very well could have finished off the season and lead the Colts to the playoffs. Instead, the Colts were stuck with Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Freeman at quarterback throughout the remainder of the season.

As a result of Luck’s absence for more than half of the season, a Colts offense that had flourished under a healthy Luck years prior ranked as the 28th-best offense in 2015, averaging just 321.4 yards-per-game. Indianapolis boasted the third-overall offense in 2014 with a fully healthy Luck anchoring the offense.

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Given those statistics, it goes without saying that Luck’s health is incredibly vital to the Colt’s success as a team moving forward. When he’s able to stay on the field and play to the best of his abilities, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league. Such was the case in 2014 when Luck lead the NFL with 40 touchdowns and threw for 4,761 yards, good for third-best in the league behind veterans Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.

Luck knows that he is a very important player to the Colts and that he needs to learn to slide more often to avoid further injuries from happening. If Luck can learn to get the ball out of his hands quicker and avoid those unnecessary hits, then expect him to return to the quarterback that he once was come the start of the 2016 season.