INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has undergone surgery on the right shoulder that's bothered him the past two seasons.
Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Thursday on Twitter that Luck was recovering from successful outpatient surgery. Irsay says Luck will be ready for the 2017 season.
Luck was listed on the Colts injury report throughout this season and missed several practices, with coach Chuck Pagano saying the team had a plan for keeping Luck healthy while he dealt with a sore throwing shoulder.
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Luck missed two games early in the 2015 season because of the shoulder injury. He threw for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns this past season after signing a six-year, $140 million contract in June.
Roethlisberger chasing Brady
PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger intended for the moment to be private. The camera following him to midfield and the microphone tucked inside Tom Brady's shoulder pads ended up making that impossible.
Their brief exchange before Brady and the New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in October provided a snapshot into a rivalry that never was. They bro-hugged. They lamented the left knee injury that forced Roethlisberger out the lineup on that warm late fall afternoon.
And then Roethlisberger made an uncharacteristic request : a signed Brady jersey to hang on the wall in Roethlisberger's home office next to Hall of Famers Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly.
"I consider him one, if not the best of all-time," Roethlisberger said.
A group Roethlisberger does not include himself in.
Not even with as many championships as Brady's longtime friend and occasional foil Peyton Manning (two). Not even with a spot in the top 10 in just about every major statistical category out there on Roethlisberger's still growing resume. Not even with a bust in Canton one day alongside Brady and the rest of the guys whose jerseys adorn the walls of his home almost assured regardless of what happens in Sunday's AFC title game.
The reason is simple: rings. Brady has four, including two he earned while carving a path through the playoffs that included victories in Pittsburgh in 2001 and 2004. Roethlisberger has two, neither of which required Roethlisberger or the Steelers to take out Brady along the way.
It's why Roethlisberger just shakes his head when asked if he's part of the "gold standard" label that he so eagerly attaches to Brady.
"Not as (his) level," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously, with all the Super Bowls he has."
This weekend provides Roethlisberger his best - and maybe his last - chance to do to Brady what Brady has done to so many others over the last 16 years. Even if the last thing Roethlisberger wants to do is get pulled into the "star quarterback vs. star quarterback" narrative that fueled so many showdowns between Brady and Manning through the years.
"It's obviously bigger than the two of us," Roethlisberger said. "I know he is used to it, with the Peyton Manning and Tom thing. This is two football teams that have won championships. Us going against each other is more than just one man. We aren't playing tennis. We are going out there to play a football game with 11 guys at a time."
Salute to service award finalists
HOUSTON -- Falcons coach Dan Quinn and Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva are the finalists for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.
The winner of the honor, presented by USAA, the official military appreciation sponsor of the league, will be announced during NFL Honors the night before the Super Bowl. Both Quinn's and Villanueva's teams, of course, are still in the running to play in that game on Feb. 5.
Quinn and Villanueva were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community.
Last spring, Quinn hosted a "Rookie Club Olympics" for which he invited 100 military members from Fort Benning, Georgia to the Falcons' training facility to participate. He created the event as a way for NFL players and the military community to unite and work together as a team.
"The military represents team on the highest level," says Quinn, who in his second year as Atlanta's coach and has it hosting the NFC championship game Sunday against Green Bay. "It's an honor to be up for this award that recognizes the standard of excellence set by our nation's military and encourages our community to give back and support service members and their families who serve our nation."
Quinn also stages a military day at training camp and hosts 20 military members at each Falcons home game throughout the season. He also provided an opportunity for families of fallen soldiers with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to attend the Falcons' Salute to Service game on Nov. 27. All 63 families attending were given a VIP visit at practice and were provided a one-night hotel stay in Atlanta courtesy of Quinn. Each player wore the initials of a fallen hero on his helmet during the game and during practice; the families were given a replica helmet of that player with a personalized note in honor of their hero.
Last offseason, Quinn led four Falcons players on a weeklong USO tour through the Pacific.
Villanueva grew up as a military child, living in the United States and Europe, where he played high school football. He then attended West Point, where he was a tight end, and was commissioned in the Army in 2010.
Promoted to captain in 2014, Villanueva was deployed three times. He received the Bronze Star Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for Valor for heroism in combat.