Colts GM acknowledges people will question Andrew Luck until he actually plays

Star Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has not played in an NFL game since Jan. 1, 2017. 

Luck had surgery on his throwing shoulder after the 2016 season and, despite optimistic initial projections from the team, did not set foot on the field last year. There have been numerous updates of his status over the last year and a half, almost all of them positive, but no real movement toward him getting back into the game. 

The most recent development was luck throwing a football again at minicamp ... but even that came with the caveat that he threw a high-school football and had "a little mental block" about throwing the NFL ball. 

Luck and the organization are once again maintaining that he'll be ready to go for the regular season, but general manager Chris Ballard finally acknowledged that until Luck actually plays in a game, there are going to be questions about his status

"Look, I've said this a few times: Andrew's got a process that he's ... and [we are] helping him go through, and it's just part of the process with stepping out," Ballard said, per the team's official website. "And, look, you've gotta get reps. He knows that, and he's worked his tail off to get to where he is right now. But, look, until Andrew runs out of that stadium and starts playing again, we're all gonna get the question. We accept that; it is what it is. We just kind of embrace where we're at right now, and we keep building on it. 

"I know it's been a learning experience and a growth period for Andrew, and it's been a growth period for us, too, organizationally to help him through this and watch him go through this -- and help guide him through this -- but, look, a lot of credit goes to Andrew and the team of trainers and strength staff and people that he's been working with to get him to a point to where he is right now."

This, obviously, is correct. The Colts can keep telling us all they want that Luck is making progress. We've heard it all before. We need to see this guy get on the field before we believe he'll be back on the field. Hopefully, that happens sooner rather than later. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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