The Indianapolis Colts will be without Andrew Luck on Sunday. The quarterback is ruled out against the Jacksonville Jaguars and rumors indicate he may miss even more time.
Luck has been suffering through a shoulder injury that kept him from practicing this week. While coach Chuck Pagano said he was confident that Luck would be able to play, on Sunday morning rumors indicated that he was officially out.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said that Andrew Luck will not play on Sunday, meaning that Colts will turn to veteran Matt Hasselbeck against the Jaguars.
As Pro Football Talk noted, the game could be a make or break one for the Indianapolis Colts.
“If the Colts lose to the Jaguars then follow it up with losses in prime time to the Texans and Patriots, the Colts could be done, too. And maybe Pagano could then be the Alabama coach, since the Alabama coach could end up being the Indianapolis coach.”
There are also rumors that the Indianapolis Colts could be missing Andrew Luck for even longer, as the shoulder injury is one that could take a while to heal.
The Colts had already given some indication that Andrew Luck might not play on Sunday, signing quarterback Josh Johnson this week in what appeared to be a move to bolster the depth behind backup Matt Hasselbeck.
It could be needed. Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com questioned whether the 40-year-old Hasselbeck still has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. He noted that Hasselbeck was 14-for-26 with 131 yards (5.03 yards per attempt), no touchdowns, an interception, and a fumble in the preseason.
“Like somebody who has hit the wall,” Kravitz writes. “Like so many quarterbacks, even the greatest ones, who start declining around 38 years old and never truly recover. Seriously, it’s striking, really striking.”
Matt Hasselbeck threw 44 passes last year in relief of Andrew Luck, but has not started a game since 2012, when he was with the Tennessee Titans. That could mean the Colts turn to a heavy dose of running back Frank Gore on Sunday.
A loss would be harmful to the Indianapolis Colts, who are trying to stay on top in the crowded and underperforming AFC South. All teams are currently locked at 1-2, and the Colts have turned in uninspired performances in three games this year, only able to scratch out a come from behind victory over the Tennessee Titans. An upset to the Jaguars could be harmful to the Colts’ playoff hopes down the line.
The rumors on whether Andrew Luck would play shifted abruptly on Sunday morning. Just two days before, Pagano all but assured that Luck would be on the field.
“Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is listed as questionable to play in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars,” Jacksonville.com reported. “But Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said he is ‘absolutely’ confident Luck will be able to go.”
Even on Sunday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the team was “trending” toward having Luck play. It’s not known whether he suffered a setback or if the team simply decided to change course and not risk its franchise quarterback when he’s less than 100 percent.
Once again, Colts leaning on Draft Class of 1998. First QB drafted that year, Peyton Manning. Second to last that year, Matthew Hasselbeck.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2015
If the rumors about Andrew Luck missing more time are true, the Indianapolis Colts could be taking a big hit. Regardless, history suggests that Sunday’s matchup might not be so adversely affected. The Colts have beaten the Jaguars five straight times, winning every game by 17 points or more.
[Photos by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]