The Indianapolis Colts will host the New England Patriots this weekend for a big Sunday Night Football matchup from Lucas Oil Stadium, and one of the big storylines will be those players who might not play - including the Colts' franchise quarterback. Head coach Chuck Pagano said today that quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder), inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (groin), and inside linebacker Nate Irving (knee) are all questionable. Nobody was ruled out yet, however, and the others are all probable, including notable players such as wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (groin) and outside linebacker Trent Cole (back).
This is the third straight week in which Luck has been officially questionable, and he hasn't played in the past two games. The hope, however, is that he'll be out there on Sunday, and the signs do point to that indeed being the case. Luck has thrown in practice every day this week, and though he has been limited he has done a lot more work during the open portion of practice than in the past few weeks. FOX59's Mike Chappell, after watching Luck at practice this week, tweeted that the quarterback "looks ready to go." The Colts have yet to sign a third quarterback to the roster, instead having just Luck and Matt Hasselbeck - just like if everything were normal. Plus, Colts owner Jim Irsay told ESPN's Mike Wells on Thursday that he expects Luck to play.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said today that there is a "good chance" that Luck will play on Sunday (according to Colts.com's Kevin Bowen), the most definitive statement he's offered about Luck's status since his "supremely confident" statement a few weeks ago. Chappell noted that Pagano said the final say on whether the quarterback will play lies with the head coach, but that Luck is as close as he's been since the injury.
Andrew Luck is officially questionable, but everything points to him playing on Sunday night. It's not official nor is it an absolute certainty, but it does seem like the Colts' quarterback will return for the team's game against the Patriots in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game.
The other injuries to note have to do with the inside linebacker position, as both Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving are questionable. Freeman missed last Thursday's game with a groin injury, and Irving helped to fill in for him. If both players miss Sunday's game, it would likely be Josh McNary and Sio Moore seeing quite a bit of time helping to fill in alongside D'Qwell Jackson.