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Jim Irsay expects Andrew Luck to start on Sunday

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Colts owner Jim Irsay told ESPN's Mike Wells that he expects quarterback Andrew Luck to start on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

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We've been on Andrew Luck watch for the past few weeks, and we haven't heard anything definitive about Luck's status since Chuck Pagano's "supremely confident" comment before the Jaguars game.  Instead, it has simply been that he's "trending in the right direction" and that "he looks good" and that he's "day to day."  This week has been no different, as we haven't heard anything definitive about whether Luck will play this Sunday against the New England Patriots.

That is, of course, until Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke with ESPN's Mike Wells today and said definitively that he expects his quarterback to play this Sunday.

"I really think that, unless something happens, I see him being a go Sunday," Irsay said.  "I'm not saying 100 percent for sure, but I think there's a strong likelihood he's a go.  I was with him [Thursday], and he's feeling a lot better."

Irsay also denied an earlier report about a separated shoulder, saying that was not the case with Luck's injury.

Luck has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury, and he has still been limited this week in practice despite throwing more, at least during the portion of practice open to the media.  The hope has been that Luck will be able to play, but it's still uncertain.  Chuck Pagano said Wednesday that he will consult with the doctors and trainers before making a decision, and that the Colts aren't going to put Luck out there if he's not ready both health-wise and performance-wise.  Luck said that he's "pretty darn close" to where he wants to be, and his hope is absolutely that he'll be playing this weekend as well.

In Luck's absence, Matt Hasselbeck has filled in admirably and helped lead the Colts to two wins, but the team will need Luck playing and playing well this Sunday if they hope to have any chance against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.  It's still not certain, but team owner and CEO Jim Irsay said that he expects his franchise quarterback to be out there starting at quarterback for the Colts on Sunday.