Time, as the saying goes, waits for no one. And it’s not waiting on the Indianapolis Colts.
If multiple championships are the mandate of the Andrew Luck era, they’d better start winning them soon. As in now.
Time is running out.
Although it seems like Luck arrived only yesterday, he is entering his fifth NFL season. Depending on how his body is holding up, either he hasn’t reached his prime, or his career is half over.
Tough to tell.
Much like his predecessor, Luck’s first four seasons have been largely spectacular. But unlike his predecessor, he’s taken a horrible beating.
Thanks to an incomparable wall of protection, Peyton Manning entered his fifth season in mint physical condition.
Thanks to practically no wall at all, Luck enters his fifth year torn, frayed and maybe a bit gun shy.
Weekly batterings will do that to a quarterback. Even to a fearless 6-foot-4, 240-pound one like Luck.
Last year’s injury tally alone, according to various reports, included a shoulder subluxation, a torn abdominal muscle, torn rib cartilage and a lacerated kidney.
In total, he missed nine games.
Miraculously, he actually played in seven.
But the point here isn’t that Luck gets beat up a lot. The point is, how are the Colts going to win multiple Super Bowls if he keeps getting torn to shreds, which appears likely, with no quick offensive line fixes on the horizon?
Free agency is underway, and with cap restraints, the cash-strapped Colts can’t be major players. Yet they have to do something to protect their franchise player.
So that leaves trades and the draft. Maybe they go the trade route, but more likely they’ll invest in the draft — and hope they hit the jackpot.
Essentially, the Colts need a new offensive line. One or two nice pieces will help but won’t fix the problem. Plus, there’s no guarantee they’ll find any nice pieces at all.
Heaven help Luck if they don’t.
But the offensive line isn’t the only mess.
As last year’s 8-8 record reflects, the Colts — with the exception of receivers, kickers and punters — need help everywhere.
Pass rushers, run-stoppers, running backs, shut-down defensive backs — the Colts need it all. If they are going to in a Super Bowl, that is.
At the moment, the Colts are ill-equipped to that. In time, they might be.
But time isn’t on their side.
Luck will be 27 in September. His body probably feels 37.
Time isn’t up, but it’s not on the Colts’ side.
Morwick is sports editor for the Daily Journal in Johnson County, a sister paper of the Daily Reporter.
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