Luck opens up about snowboarding accident

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has spoken extensively for more than a year about the injuries to his throwing shoulder. He's detailed the issues to his labrum and his new outlook on his football career.

But he has never publicly said this: "I'm obviously not snowboarding anymore."

As Luck prepares to triumphantly take the field today against the Cincinnati Bengals, he'll do so for the first time since the 2016 season after battling back from a posterior labrum tear and subsequent surgery. But that wasn't the only injury to his throwing shoulder.

Earlier this week, in a conversation with NFL.com, Luck detailed a previously secret injury to his right shoulder that either complicated his recovery or made him realize how lucky he was.

Luck confirmed that during the winter of 2016 he was in a snowboarding accident in Colorado that left him with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. It was the offseason after the labrum tear against the Titans in 2015, the offseason after he lacerated his kidney on the field. And yes, he still went snowboarding. No, he will not be doing that again.

When it happened, the called the Colts immediately and was honest about it.

"I don't snowboard anymore," Luck said. "And this was after the initial injury. I went back, rehabbed it with the Colts. I've had a bunch of AC sprains, both left and right shoulder, and resolved that issue. But the labrum has been my issue, was my issue, what I worked through, what I got surgery on."

Luck does not believe the AC sprain affected his torn labrum. He was adamant it did not slow his rehab.

"I've seen more doctors than I can count on two hands over the past two or three years," Luck said, "and the consensus -- unanimous -- is that the AC is not an issue, nor did it have an effect. The labrum is an issue."

All that is behind him now. He's happy to be back on the field, with a new understanding of teammates dealing with injuries. And a renewed love of the game.

"It made me realize I love football and I love playing it," Luck said. "I love my teammates. It stinks when you can't do something. I do think I've gained a different appreciation. I'm much happier playing it than I was. ... I was very emotional before the first preseason game. I'll try to keep it in check, but I've also learned it's important to just let things go and let it happen. I know I'll be excited. I know that."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.