The Indianapolis Colts believe lingering pain in Andrew Luck's lower left leg will likely force their starting quarterback to miss the rest of the preseason.
They're still unsure about his availability for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Tuesday additional testing revealed Luck appears to be suffering from an injury near the front of his ankle, something his previously diagnosed strained left calf might have exacerbated.
"Honestly, I think it's a cumulative thing through the years. Andrew's had some issues with his left (ankle) for a while, so I think it's really a cumulative thing," Ballard told local reporters on a conference call. "We think we've found it. You hope you've found what the cause is. Is there a 100 percent guarantee? No, but we think we have, so we'll move forward and try to treat it."
The injury kept Luck out of all of the team's offseason workouts and all but three training camp practices. He still has not participated in full team drills.
Ballard and coach Frank Reich initially described the injury as a strained calf, but when Luck continued to complain about soreness, team officials started digging deeper to get answers.
On Monday, Colts owner Jim Irsay told SiriusXM radio the team believed Luck had an injury to the os trigonum, a small, accessory bone near the back of the ankle.
But new tests, Ballard said, determined the soreness was coming from the front of the ankle.
"Most of his pain is right below the calf, kind of anklish, up a little bit. Remember, everyone kept focusing on the Achilles and it's not the Achilles," Ballard said. "The issue right now is the side to side stuff, the rolling of the ankle. Anything moving forward is good. It's the moving in the pocket."
In his most recent interview, Luck said he felt as if something was tugging at his lower left leg near the ankle when he ran.
The current diagnosis does not call for surgery, just more rehab and a different routine.
Luck did participate in individual work and some seven-on-seven drills during the first week of camp, but has been limited to working on his own and running walkthroughs since July 29.
Without Luck, Jacoby Brissett has been working with a starting offense that has struggled. Indy's defense has outplayed the offense consistently at camp and in Thursday's loss at Buffalo, the Colts generated only two first downs on their first seven series.
The Cleveland Browns will be in town Wednesday and Thursday for joint practices with the Colts. Reich had already said Luck wouldn't practice or play in Saturday's game.
"Coming into it, we were going to limit his playing time in the preseason anyway," Ballard said. "So right now, I'm telling you, most likely, he doesn't play in the preseason."
Luck's long absence and the uncertainty of what the injury was produced growing speculation among fans that there was a more serious injury and it was starting to sound like 2017 when Luck missed the entire season after having surgery on his throwing shoulder.
Ballard shrugged off any such notion.
Luck returned last season and led the Colts to their first playoff appearance in four years, won the league's Comeback Player of the Year award and went to his fourth Pro Bowl.
"Look, this is not 2017," Ballard said. "When I came in the door, one of the things we talked about was building a team and it wasn't all going to be about one guy. I understand the importance of Andrew Luck. Look, he's a top-five quarterback in the league, but we have another guy we like (Brissett). So we'll treat it and we'll move forward and we'll deal with whatever we have to deal with going forward."
Vikings juggle kickers, too: Dan Bailey and Matt Wile were already on the practice field for the Vikings’ Sunday training camp practice when the team finalized a deal for Kaare Vedvik, the player who could replace one of them on the 2019 roster.
Two days after the move, as Bailey kicked and Vedvik punted in team drills while Wile (who sliced his left thumb during Friday’s game in New Orleans) worked on his own, there was still little clarity about how the Vikings’ special teams group will ultimately look. Coach Mike Zimmer said he plans to take a look at all three players in the Vikings’ second preseason game on Sunday night against the Seahawks, indicating Vedvik could work as both a kicker and a punter before the end of the preseason.
Giants WR Tate suspended 4 games: New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate has had the appeal of his four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's policy on performance enhancers turned down.
The decision by an independent arbiter was announced Tuesday and means the 10-year-veteran will miss the first four games of the regular season, starting with Dallas on Sept. 8.
Tate, who signed a $37.5 million contract as a free agent with the Giants in March, announced the suspension in a Twitter post on July 27. He said he intended to appeal it and felt his case had merit because he was using a fertility drug prescribed by a doctor.
The appeal was heard by a member of an independent appeals panel in New York last week.
The NFL allows players to use fertility drugs but they must obtain a therapeutic use exemption prior to using them. The league has insisted players are responsible for the drugs and supplements they take and advises them to talk to team trainers and medical personnel before using them. Certain fertility drugs can help athletes boost performance or mask doping. Some fertility drugs bought on line are not approved by the FDA.
Tate will be eligible to practice with the team until the start of the regular season.
In his tweet last month, Tate said he has never violated the league's rules on banned substances. He noted the treatment was for a fertility issue and it will have no effect on this season.
Hours before the suspension was officially announced, quarterback Eli Manning called Tate a smart player who came turn short plays into big ones.
"He is going to be in the right spot and he has a good feel for the zones, how to get open versus different techniques and stuff," Manning said.
The Giants, who traded standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland in the offseason, have been hit a rash of injuries at the wideout spot in training camp.
Sterling Shepard broke his left thumb in the opening practice. He has returned to practice on a limited basis. Fellow receiver kickoff returner Corey Coleman tore an ACL in the same workout.
Rookie Darius Slayton, the fifth-round draft choice, returned to practice this week after missing almost all of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Tate split last season with the Lions and Eagles, catching 74 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. The Notre Dame product played with Seattle from 2010-13 and was with the Lions from 2014 until the trade to Philadelphia. His best seasons were from 2014-17, when he caught at least 90 passes per season with Detroit.
AB back at Raiders practice: Antonio Brown made his first appearance at Raiders training camp in two weeks Tuesday but it is unknown when the receiver — sidelined with frostbite in his foot — might be able to practice again with his new team.
Since his last time at the Raiders’ training camp facility on July 30, Brown has been seeing his foot specialist to get treatment for frostbite.
“You guys are going to have to stay tuned for that,” Brown said.
At approximately 11:05 a.m. PDT, Brown, with cameras from HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in tow, walked onto the far side of the practice field and in the direction of the Raiders’ weight room. He then made his way toward the field where the Raiders were practicing, and was greeted by several teammates on the sideline.
NFL teams with Jay-Z's group: The NFL and Jay-Z's entertainment and sports representation company are teaming up for events and social activism.
The league not only will use Jay-Z's Roc Nation to consult on its entertainment presentations, including the Super Bowl halftime show, but will work with the rapper and entrepreneur's company to "strengthen community through music and the NFL's Inspire Change initiative."
Inspire Change was created by the league after an agreement with a coalition of players who demonstrated during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice in this country. Those demonstrations were sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.
NFL owners agreed to contribute up to $89 million over six years toward causes players were supporting. Commissioner Roger Goodell sees the partnership with Roc Nation as a significant step in several directions.