So far, Luck has received $63 million from the Colts under his second contract.
Nearly 10 months removed from surgery on his right shoulder, Luck still hadn't recovered to the point that he could throw without soreness.
The lousiness of the Colts, combined with the stalled progress of Luck's shoulder, made shutting Luck down for the season a relatively easy call that many suspected was coming. Ex-Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson even suggested that Luck's injury could be career-ending.More news: Republicans Uniting Over Reveal That Clintons and DNC Were Behind Russia Conspiracy
Indianapolis is now in last place in the AFC South with a record of 2-6.
Ballard said on Monday, in an appearance on 1070 The Fan's Colts Roundtable Live, that the team and Luck "wanted to start getting some answers" after the cortisone shots didn't work as intended; the quarterback had, in turn, "gone to a couple other doctors just to get some opinions to see where we're at".
Luck said he's "very optimistic" about his future despite being unable to recover in time for the 2017 season.More news: Carolina Panthers trade top receiver Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo Bills
If Luck is ready to start the 2018 season opener, he would go more than 20 months between regular-season snaps. The Colts had not disclosed the injury, repeatedly stating that Luck was "fine" throughout 2016.
Brissett has mixed promising moments with the sorts of mistakes typical of a young quarterback who never was expected to be anyone's starter or centerpiece player so early in his career. He also rushed for 341 yards and two touchdowns. 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.
"The consensus from all the doctors is to continue rehab, to be patient and continue rehab", Ballard said. Luck missed a game last season with a concussion and all of this season with the shoulder. I assume it was a coincidence that the recent medical assessments of Luck's shoulder occurred immediately after Brissett was tenderized by the Jaguars defense to the tune of 10 sacks. The job is his to roll with, knowing Luck isn't walking back into the huddle until next season. They could use the high draft pick to address a position of need, or if there are several quarterbacks who are as good as some think they'll be, Indianapolis could trade back to stockpile more picks to help its rebuild.More news: BJP to observe noteban anniversary as anti-blackmoney day