Colts place Andrew Luck on injured reserve

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Andrew Luck's 2017 season is officially over.

The Indianapolis Colts did what many expected they would do all season long and placed quarterback Andrew Luck on injured reserve.

Luck, who missed the 2017 offseason workout program, training camp, preseason and the first few weeks of the regular season, was able to return to practice, albeit in a very limited role, on October 4 and 6, when he went through individual drills and threw some routes to receivers against air.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's surgically-repaired shoulder "stopped getting better" about a week and a half ago, reports NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

So with the Colts struggling, their playoff hopes fading fast and Luck apparently not ready to play, Indianapolis decided to make the smart, cautious move - even if it wasn't Luck's preference. "Career-ending is putting him out on the field before he's ready to play - that is where you should be concerned".

The Colts are 2-6 on the year.

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Luck said he's "very optimistic" about his future despite being unable to recover in time for the 2017 season.

Others are looking forward to a healthy Luck and fresh start in 2018.

The most worrisome issue for the Colts and their fans is the unknown of Luck's future.

Luck thought in April he would be ready to go, and I can not see him publically stating that just to help the organization from a PR standpoint. He also was sacked 100 times in those three seasons, hits that finally started to take a toll on Luck's body in 2015. The doctors have told the Colts to have patience with the rehab process, he said. The former Patriots backup, acquired by the Colts on September for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, has appeared in eight games for Indianapolis this season, starting seven of them.

Inside the locker room, Luck's teammates understand why he won't be back.

Ballard's opening statement during Thursday's press conference began with nine words about the IR move coming for Luck. Grigson was criticized for failing to assemble a better offensive line to safeguard the franchise quarterback.