Quarterback controversy? In Indianapolis? With the Colts? Don’t be ridiculous. Despite the Colts thriving under the guidance of 40-year old Matt Hasselbeck the last two games, the organization will turn back to the franchise, Andrew Luck, the moment he shows he’s capable of shrugging off the shoulder injury that’s kept him on the sidelines.
“If he’s (Luck) ready to go, we’ll put him out there,” said head coach Chuck Pagano. “That’s as far as I’ll say on that. He’s a great communicator. We’ve got great docs and great trainers working with him. When he’s ready, we’re going to put him out there.”
Luck practiced on Wednesday on a limited basis. At least limited according to the Colts injury report. But not to Hasselbeck.
“He seemed great. he seemed himself," said the backup quarterback. "As far as I know, he was a full participant. I think, It'd would be a surprise if he didn’t start.”
Reminded that he said the same thing last week, Hasselbeck, the former Boston College star, smiled at his questioner before responding, “I did say that last week, but the first thing I said is I’m not an expert in this field, it’s not my job to evaluate him. Just giving you an amateur opinion.”
In the brief time the Colts media was allowed to watch Luck, they saw him throw up to 30 yards but there was never a “wow, look at that ball sizzle” moment. Maybe that was saved for after the press made it’s way back inside.
“(I) certainly took the next step,” said Luck after the session. “Absolutely. Did more and more and felt better and better. I think I’m on track and so, yes, happy with how it responded.”
“You know, I’m not catching it, so I’d ask the other guys,” said Pagano when questioned about Luck’s overall velocity. “It looks like it’s coming out of his hand good. It’s spinning well, tight spiral and looks good.”
If Luck can’t fight through this shoulder injury, Hasselbeck will be at the ready again. He’s almost fully recovered from the bacterial infection that sent him to a hospital last Tuesday night, just 48 hours before he not only started the game against the Texans, but sliced and diced that defense up for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Hasselbeck is on antibiotics that he’s not enjoying, but unlike last week, his preparation hasn’t been affected.
“Just going to prepare like I always do,” he said. “It was a challenge that (Quarterbacks coach) Clyde Christensen gave us at the beginning of the year, or maybe it was just to me, you should prepare in such a way that if you’re number is called, you really don’t have to do anything extra. It was just great advice.”