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With Luck still experiencing pain, he was placed on injured reserve Thursday, officially ending his season.

Nearly 10 months removed from surgery on his right shoulder, Luck still hadn't recovered to the point that he could throw without soreness.

Luck was able to return to practice in a very limited role on October 4 and 6, when he went through individual drills and threw some routes to receivers against air.

He's an unflappable sort, so I'm not sure Brissett ever felt Luck looming behind him, but the keys to the 2017 Colts offense now lives with Brissett's right hand.

So with the Colts struggling, their playoff hopes fading fast and Luck apparently not ready to play, Indianapolis decided to make the smart, cautious move - even if it wasn't Luck's preference. "Career-ending would be to put him out there before he's ready".

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At 2-6, the Colts season is already essentially shot, and the team features an offensive line that ranks just 23rd via Football Outsiders-having surrendered a league leading 33 sacks and 67 QB hits on the season respectively.

"I wish I was better and 100 percent this season, but that's not the case", Luck told the team's website. The once-so-bright future of Luck and the Colts has been clouded considerably.

The most worrisome issue for the Colts and their fans is the unknown of Luck's future.

"The consensus from all the doctors is to continue rehab", Ballard said. The Colts also would have a potential trade chip - Luck, Brissett or the new quarterback - that might pay dividends down the road no matter how things unfold. The move to IR, Ballard said, is due to the fact Luck's "soreness hasn't calmed down".

Rather than have offseason shoulder surgery then, Luck opted for rest. That's fair because Ballard was always measured in his Luck comments and things can change when the recovery timetable is thrown off-track after injured players suffer setbacks in rehabilitation. Luck missed a game last season with a concussion and all of this season with the shoulder. The job is his to roll with, knowing Luck isn't walking back into the huddle until next season.