INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Colts are out of Luck at this week's mini-camp.
With new quarterback Andrew Luck still finishing two college classes, team officials are doing what they can to make sure the No. 1 overall draft pick doesn't fall behind in his football studies before returning to Indy on June 8. Veterans can't wait to get a peek at Luck.
"I came in to do some maintenance stuff the last day of rookie mini-camp and I asked him 'Did you throw any picks?'" cornerback Jerraud Powers said. "He said, 'I don't think I did.' So I said, 'Hi, I'm Jerraud Powers and I'll be picking you off a lot in practice.'"
Welcome to the NFL, kid.
Aside from the ribbing Luck and his fellow rookies will take from the older guys this season, the Colts don't seem too concerned about not having Luck around.
Coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday that the Colts have stayed in constant communication with Luck, that he's been busy with the team's playbook and that he's been able to work out with at least two college teammates, Coby Fleener and Griff Whalen, while at Stanford Fleener and Whalen are both on the Colts' roster.
The Colts would obviously prefer to have Luck in Indy. Apparently, Luck, who is trying to earn his degree in architectural design, would rather be in town, too.
"He does football in the morning, he stays on top of stuff," Pagano said. "I just talked to him last night, and it's killing him not to be here."
NFL rules bar rookies from attending team camps other than one three-day rookie mini-camp until classes are finished. In Luck's case, he wraps up academic work June 7 and has said he will be in Indy the next day.
Until then, Luck intends to work out at Stanford with Fleener, a tight end the Colts took in the second round, and Whalen, who the Colts signed as an undrafted free agent. Fleener, who already has earned his bachelor's degree, did practice with the Colts on Wednesday.
Pagano said Luck has not yet worked out with veteran receiver Austin Collie, who lives near Sacramento, Calif., or Reggie Wayne, who usually works out in Miami where he attended college.
Many of his new teammates, who had to contend with the months-long debate about what to do with Peyton Manning if the Colts wound up with the No. 1 draft pick, have heard plenty about Luck. Now they want to see what he can do on the field.
"There's been a whole of hype surrounding him," Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis said. "He's a good kid, a kid who has a good head on his shoulders, so I'm ready to see what he's got."
Luck wasn't the only player missing from Wednesday's practice.
Second-year running back Delone Carter was held out after having offseason surgery on an injured thumb. New center Samson Satele sat out with a knee injury, and rookie quarterback Chandler Harnish, the last pick in the draft, was out with a sprained knee.
Pagano said none of the injuries were serious and that all of them should be back soon.
But the biggest name that was missing Wednesday was the one everybody wanted to see.
"He's one of those unique guys who is more than prepared," Powers said. "You know he's in the playbook every day. You know he's got priorities straight, trying to get his degree. You know we've still got a long offseason to go so he can get his timing down."
And perhaps even throw a few mistakes to Powers.