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PFT 2019 storyline No. 30: Will Andrew Luck stay healthy again?

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to be conservative and rest his calf, learning from his shoulder injury last season.

After losing all of the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. managed to play all of the 2018 season -- and to play it incredibly well. So with the 2019 season approaching, the question becomes whether Luck can do it again.

A calf injury limited his involvement in the team’s offseason program. Although Luck attributed the absences to a post-shoulder-surgery realization that he needs to be careful with his health, it’s a stark reminder that his ability to play all of 2018 is no guarantee that he’ll play all of 2019 -- and it’s a reason for Colts fans to fret about whether he’ll be able to do it.

And if he doesn’t, it will be very difficult for the Colts to deliver on their potential.

The Colts have the potential to be good. Very good. Deep-into-the-playoffs good. To get to the postseason and to win when they get there, however, the Colts need Luck to be able to play. And to play well.

Of course, if he’s able to play, it’s safe to assume he’ll play well. Historically, when he plays, he definitely plays very well.

The team’s offensive line, buoyed by the performance of 2018 rookie first-rounder Quenton Nelson and the lift his presence gave to the rest of the line, will give Luck the protection he needs. But even the best-protected quarterbacks get hit. And every quarterback who gets hit can get hurt.

Given Luck’s size and skills, it’s easy to take for granted his ability to stay healthy. He’ll need to actually do it for the Colts to take the next step toward being the kind of dominant force that they were when Peyton Manning played quarterback in Indianapolis.

The clock is ticking, loudly, for Luck’s to begin to perform like Manning’s Cots did. Owner Jim Irsay continues to vow multiple Super Bowl wins on Luck’s watch (Irsay’s latest kick is to aim for three in a row), but Luck turns 30 on September 12.

Manning’s age when he won his only Super Bowl with the Colts? 30.