Andrew Luck‘s status among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks seems to have been brought into question after a pair of injury-ridden seasons.

Bruce Arians can be counted among the many who have already seen more than enough from the Indianapolis Colts star to know that he is a rare and special talent.

The Cardinals head coach compared his former quarterback to a pair of future Hall of Famers in an appearance on the “Tiki and Tierney” radio show this week, making particular note of how quickly Luck became comfortable leading a no-huddle offense.

“It took Peyton (Manning) three years. Andrew, it was three games,” Arians said. “He’s brilliant. They say he’s got a photographic memory. I don’t know what the hell it is, but I know you tell him once, and he’s got it. And his athletic ability is amazing. When you think of Peyton’s brain and Ben (Roethlisberger)’s body and toughness and heart, you got Andrew. So much goes into winning. Not just one guy. He probably needed that surgery sooner than he got it.”

Having worked with all three players at the beginning of their respective careers, and long past his time with each as now he enters his fifth year in Arizona, Arians is perhaps the best source for this kind of analysis.

With that in mind, the football world should probably be looking forward to seeing what Luck can do after working his way back from his recent injury issues.

“I think people jump off quarterbacks early all the time because their team doesn’t win,” Arians said. “It’s a 22-man sport. If you don’t have a defense or if your weapons or your offensive line gets hurt, (it’s tough). Andrew Luck might be – I’ve had some great ones – the best one as a rookie I’ve ever seen. And Ben won 13 in a row or something. But the things (Luck) did as a rookie were unbelievable.”

Luck showed some signs of his earlier form across 15 starts last season, completing 63.5 percent of his passes for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The hope will be that an offseason shoulder surgery can correct any lingering issues and help him return to full strength with an eye on leading the Colts back to the playoffs.

– With h/t to CBS Sports

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