Colts expect Andrew Luck to miss preseason with injury to ankle area

The Indianapolis Colts believe lingering pain in Andrew Luck’s lower left leg likely will 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 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% 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 has not participated in full drills.

Ballard and head 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.

“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 walk-throughs 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.

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.

Luck returned last season and led the Colts to their first playoff appearance in four years, won the Comeback Player of the Year award and went to his fourth Pro Bowl.

More from Murray: Kyler Murray’s playing time figures to increase from the one drive the rookie quarterback led in the Cardinals’ first preseason game, a 17-13 win over the Chargers.

But the Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury continue to limit the play selection so as not to put Kingsbury’s actual offense — the one being touted given his college coaching background — on display.

Murray, the A’s first-round draft pick in 2018, seems confident in his knowledge of it, no matter what plays are called in what might be two series of playing time Thursday night against the Raiders.

“I kind of know what it looks like. I know it will work,” Murray said. “It’s hard for teams to prepare for what we will do. We’re not game-planning anybody right now. But I have confidence in it. Obviously, we’re not giving everybody the full thing, but when we get out there full speed, moving around, it will be good.”

Murray looked accurate and mobile in going 6-for-7 for 44 yards last week. Of note in practice this week, Murray took snaps under center as opposed to the shotgun formation. He has thrown a number of interceptions in practice, but doesn’t seem fazed by them.

“It is what it is. You’ve got to have a short memory,” Murray said.

He’s working against cornerback Patrick Peterson with the No. 1 defense in practice, and Peterson has picked off his teammate.

“Kyler’s going to be ready,” Peterson said. “The thing I like about him, watching him from college, he gets better as the game goes along.”

Briefly: Giants wide receiver Golden Tate had the appeal of his suspension for use of performance enhancers turned down. The 10-year veteran will miss the first four games of the regular season. … Nick Foles won’t face his former team in the preseason. Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said he plans to sit most of his starters, including his quarterback, against Philadelphia on Thursday. … Green Bay first-year head coach Matt LaFleur said Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the first-team offense and first-team defense will play about “a quarter or so” Thursday at Baltimore.

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