Luck catches first NFL pass on 4th-down play

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had the first reception of his seven-year NFL career in the second quarter of Sunday’s 27-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

The Colts were facing a fourth-and-1 from Miami’s 39-yard line when backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett lined up in the shotgun and Luck went out wide left. With Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick sliding off Luck to blitz, Brissett fired a pass that Luck had to leap for and caught before taking a hard hit from safety Reshad Jones that saw him land on his surgically repaired right shoulder on the 4-yard completion.

“The play was not designed for a 4-yard play to Andrew,” coach Frank Reich said. “I’m not going to tell you the whole design of the play, but it was not designed for how many yard completion it was. That was Jacoby and Andrew making a great play. [The Dolphins] played it a lot differently than I thought they were going to play it, and Jacoby and Andrew adjusted and made a great play.”

Luck is the first Colts quarterback with a reception since Peyton Manning caught a pass for minus-2 yards in 2003, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Luck is also the first NFL player to complete a pass, catch a pass and run the ball on the same drive since 2001.

It was a risky playcall by Reich because he put Luck in the position to take an unnecessary hit after he missed last season rehabilitating his right shoulder, which he originally injured in Week 3 of the 2015 season.

“I thought if he gets hurt on this play, you guys are going to kill me for a 4-yard pass completion,” Reich said.

Luck said he didn’t think about his shoulder until he walked into the training room after the game and somebody on the medical staff asked him about it.

“It feels great,” he said. “That’s awesome. I’m thankful for that.”

This was the second consecutive week that the Colts put Luck in a pass-catching situation. In the second quarter of their Week 11 game against Tennessee, tight end Eric Ebron attempted to throw a pass to Luck, which fell incomplete in the end zone, just out of reach of the quarterback’s outstretched hands.

Luck said after the Titans game that he was done playing receiver. He was asked again Sunday if his receiving career is over. He smiled and said, “I think I am.”

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