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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck stood at his locker and slid on his practice pants with pads for the first time in more than nine months on Thursday.

You can call it another positive step in Luck’s return.

Luck was scheduled to take part in 7-on-7 drills in practice where he ran a handful of snaps of Tennessee’s offense against the Colts defense on Thursday. The Colts face the Titans on Monday.

“Starting to get into an environment where everything is not controlled, which is football, to a certain degree,” Luck said. “I think every step at this point is a substantial step,” Luck said. “So I’m excited about that. Excited to go out there and see how it is.”

Luck was also scheduled to take part in the individual portion of practice and throw passes to his receivers without any defense on the field. The highlight, at least during the portion of practice that the media is allowed to watch, was Luck making throws between 30 and 40 yards down the field off to the side. That’s a significant step from what the media was able to watch last week where most of Luck’s throws were short, soft throws while he wore just shorts. The Colts aren’t at the point where they want Luck to make much deeper throws yet as he continues to work his way back from right shoulder surgery back in January.

“It feels different,” Luck said when asked how his arm feels. “It’s still finding its way again. Certain things feel better. Certain things are finding its way. It’s a process and I’m still in that process of getting it where it needs to be.”

Don’t get too excited just yet. Luck has already been ruled out for Monday’s game and the Colts still won’t put a timetable on his return. He won’t practice Friday before taking the practice field again Saturday. Luck is simply clearing more hurdles in his quest to play his first game since Week 17 of last season.

“There has been an effort not to skip steps,” he said. “I think we’re progressing along with the plan nicely, and it would be foolish to get close to the finish line and start skipping steps.”

Does Luck see the finish line in sight?

“I think I do,” he said.

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