Andrew Luck missed an entire season of his NFL career due to injury. Peyton Manning knows something about that experience. The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback missed the 2011 season due to a neck injury. The issue ended his tenure in Indy and began Luck's reign.
Manning, careful not to compare the two situations, said from Wednesday's Pro-Am at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, that he believes Luck getting as many reps as possible is key to a positive return.
"Everything is an individual thing, so you have to be careful speaking on it since injuries are different," Manning told ESPN. "But it's also universal. For me, I was a [repetition] guy. I liked to get all the reps on practice. The theory of 10,000 reps, I believe in that. I felt like I was kind of behind because I hadn't gotten the reps even though you have a lot in the bank. It took me a few games before I felt like I was coming back. Getting as many reps as possible is key."
The Colts have kept Luck's rehab slow thus far. The franchise QB has yet to throw a football. Nevertheless, the Indy brass has been optimistic Luck will be ready for training camp. If Manning's "10,000 reps" theory holds (the theory based off Malcolm Gladwell's principle that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become world class in a given field), Luck could struggle to start the season, as he gets back into the groove of being a starting NFL quarterback.
Luck's return after missing the entire 2017 campaign will come with an adjustment period, according to Manning.
"For me, coming off missing the entire year with the neck, I knew I was going to have to play a different kind of way, a different sort of physical state," Manning said. "I was looking for things like positive feedback from receivers on whether the ball felt the same coming in and then when you get into the game and you throw a deep out. We played a preseason game and I threw a deep comeback route, and that was a thing to check off the box. You want to do everything for the first time again. You want to get hit, you want to make a tight throw, have a two-minute drive. I wanted to do all those things again."
Luck will do all those things again. Hopefully soon.