No, Andrew Luck has not given any indication that he would entertain a return to the NFL. The owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, brought up the idea on Wednesday, though, and that got us thinking.
On Thursday, Clay gave his thoughts on a potential Luck return: “Before they [Indianapolis] make a decision to trade for Matthew Stafford or pursue another starting quarterback elsewhere, could Andrew Luck make the decision to come back?”
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 29, 2021
The bottom line: Clay is absolutely right.
If you’re the Colts, that’s the ideal situation. Pursuing a Stafford, Deshaun Watson or any other trade target involves draft capital. With Luck, that draft capital could be used on other positions such as a replacement for Anthony Castonzo.
The defense in Indianapolis is already good enough to win a Super Bowl. In 2020, they ranked No. 8 in total defense (332.1 yards allowed per game) and tied for No. 10 in scoring defense (22.6 points per game). Were they perfect? No, they weren’t.
More help is needed at cornerback and edge rusher.
But acquiring DeForest Buckner and Xavier Rhodes were game-changers for that side of the football. Plus, there’s still hope for the development of former top picks such as cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and pass-rusher Ben Banogu. That would go a long way in addressing those two needs.
The offense, on the other hand, is oozing with potential, especially if Luck came back. He’s only 31 years old, and should be in the prime of his career. As much as we wanted Philip Rivers to pan out, that signing didn’t have the impact the front office had hoped.
This offensive collection of talent is solid, though:
- RB: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins
- WR: Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell
- TE: Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox
- OL: Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith
An important next step is getting that replacement for Castonzo at left tackle. Adding another dynamic receiver would also help, even if the team re-signed TY Hilton. But the core here is excellent, and adding Luck would take it to another level and free up picks to address other needs.
One thing Luck never had in Indianapolis was an offensive line that could keep him upright consistently. Get an adequate guy to step in for Castonzo, and he would finally have that. He’d also have a dynamic 1-2 punch at running back with enough weapons in the passing game to be successful.
This team isn’t far off at all. That 11-5 record this season secured a playoff berth, but Rivers was in no position to carry this team far — at least not at this point in his career.
It would be an awesome storyline to follow, if Luck chose to return to the game. Will it happen? Probably not, but if that dream becomes a reality, people need to be aware of the oncoming hype train that will surely follow.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.