Sportress of Blogitude

Teammate says Andrew Luck is ‘reluctantly accepting’ need to slide


Andrew Luck’s fierce competitive nature has caused him to take some pretty huge hits when he escapes the pocket, primarily due to his refusal to slide in an effort to eke out a few more yards.

But both Luck and one of his Indianapolis Colts teammates insist he is open to taking the necessary precautions in the future to avoid serious injury when he tucks the ball and runs.

“I think we’ve all been in his ear, like, ‘Dude, when you get out of the pocket, you need to slide,’ because we obviously love him and want him to be playing,” said Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, via ESPN’s Mike Wells. “He’s reluctantly accepting it because he obviously wants to dive ahead and get three more yards. In the grand scheme of things, I think he kind of knows that sliding might be a little better of a decision.”

Luck dealt with an injury-plagued 2015 NFL season — arguably one of the worst season of his young NFL career — highlighted by suffering a lacerated kidney during a Nov. 8 showdown with the Denver Broncos. All told, Luck only appeared in seven games last season. He says now that he understands he needs to remain on the field to be a true leader of the team and appears committed to figuring out how to incorporate more slides into his scrambles.

“It’s part of practice,” Luck said. “A big part of practice is making it as game-like as possible. With all things, if you throw an interception, you start running after the guy that intercepted it. If you’re out running and you’re not near the sidelines, you slide. It’s part of practice.”

Amid Luck’s newfound approach to using the slide is how the team and the quarterback are attempting to work out the details of a long-term contract extension. Luck made it clear recently that he isn’t overly concerned over the drawn-out nature of negotiations.

But Colts owner Jim Irsay recently stressed that Luck needs to stay on he field despite how the quarterback’s “competitive nature just gets to him.”

“You can’t be a great player in this league if you don’t stay healthy,” Irsay opined.