It’s been a rough fourth season for Andrew Luck. Even with missing two games earlier this season due to a shoulder issue and some broken ribs, he was on pace to set a career-high for interceptions. Luck’s poor play contributed heavily to the firing of OC Pep Hamilton, who’s coached Luck since his days at Stanford, and the quarterback was clearly shaken up by the ouster of Hamilton last week.
Luck appeared to find some rhythm late in the Week 8 loss to the Panthers on Monday night and carried it over into this past week’s win over the previously-undefeated Broncos, where he went 21-of-36 for 252 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks. However, late in the eventual win, Luck took a big shot on a scramble. He stayed in the game and threw a touchdown the next play, but was in obvious pain heading to the sideline. Luck finished out the contest, and nobody thought anything of it.
Until Tuesday afternoon.
Owner Jim Irsay announced Luck suffered a lacerated kidney and an abdominal injury that will sideline him 2-6 weeks. The Colts are on their bye, fortunately, but Luck being ready in two weeks seems like a definite long shot. Keenan Allen suffered a lacerated kidney in Week 8 and was placed on I.R. Luck’s is obviously different, but this is more of a two-month injury than a two-week one. Luck is one tough cat, but it would be a minor miracle if he was back within a month.
In the meantime, Matt Hasselbeck will step in as the Colts’ starting quarterback. He led them to a 2-0 record in two spot starts earlier this season in place of an injured Luck. And lucky for the Colts, they play in the league’s worst division. A 7-9 record could easily win the AFC South. Look for the Colts to become more balanced and slow the pace down quite a bit. T.Y. Hilton is no longer a WR1, while Donte Moncrief will be a borderline WR3/4. Coby Fleener might get the biggest boost and remains a low-end TE1 with some upside. Fleener runs routes where Hasselbeck is comfortable.
In Other News…
Malcom Floyd went down hard trying to catch a deep ball Monday night against the Bears. He left with a shoulder injury and never returned to the game. Earlier Tuesday, the Chargers said they considered Floyd “day-to-day.” But U-T San Diego’s Michael Gehlken later reported Floyd suffered a torn labrum. Shoulder injuries can take months to come back from, so Floyd’s season is likely over. The 34-year-old previously said 2015 will be his last year. This could be the end of a very productive career as Philip Rivers’ deep threat. Dontrelle Inman will fill the No. 2 receiver role, but Antonio Gates, Stevie Johnson, and Danny Woodhead will be the biggest target hogs.
DeAngelo Williams is experiencing some swelling in his foot and isn’t expected to practice Wednesday. It could be merely precautionary, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Williams is making good progress and should be ready for Week 10 against the Browns’ league-worst run defense. As long as he’s active and starting, Williams will be a top-flight RB1 play.
Josh McCown missed Week 9 with bruised ribs and didn’t practice Tuesday. Coach Mike Pettine has said if McCown is healthy, he’ll be the starter. As long as McCown’s ribs aren’t broken, the two weeks off between starts should give him enough time to get ready for Sunday against the Steelers. McCown has had a rough go of it of late, but the matchup against the Steelers is ideal. He’d be a sneaky QB1 option at a bargain-basement, dirt-cheap price on DFS sites.
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Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Texans practice squad RB Daryl Richardson worked out for the Patriots on Tuesday. Practice squad players are free to sign with other teams’ 53-man rosters at any moment. … Cowboys waived QB Kellen Moore. … NFL suspended free agent Joseph Randle four games for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy. … Browns activated RB Glenn Winston from the reserve/PUP list and waived Robert Turbin. … Coach Rex Ryan expects LeSean McCoy (shoulder) to be 100 percent for Thursday night’s Week 10 game against the Jets. … C.J. Spiller remains confused why he isn’t getting much work in the Saints’ offense. … 49ers waived Pierre Thomas and signed Travaris Cadet. … Ben Roethlisberger (foot) refused to rule himself out for Week 10 against the Browns. The Steelers’ bye week is Week 11. … Ravens signed RB Terrance West to their practice squad. … Cam Newton is on pace for 146 rushing attempts. It would be the most by a quarterback since 1950. … Owner/GM Jerry Jones said Tony Romo (clavicle) will start Week 11. … Dolphins waived RB Jonas Gray.
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Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Bears promoted WR Deonte Thompson from the practice squad. … Chargers signed TE Sean McGrath. … Sammy Watkins (ankle) was limited in Tuesday’s practice. He should be fine for Thursday night. … John Brown (hamstring) practiced on Tuesday. … Coach John Harbaugh admitted the “clock is ticking” on Breshad Perriman potentially playing this season. The Ravens “would love” to get four games out of Perriman in his rookie year. … Dez Bryant (foot) is “fine) after landing awkwardly on his surgically-repaired foot Sunday. … Dennis Pitta (hip, reserve/PUP) met with doctors Tuesday to discuss his 2015 availability. … Coach Jay Gruden wants to get DeSean Jackson more involved moving forward.