The signs were all pointing to Andrew Luck returning to the field for the Colts. He threw in practice every day this week, which was clearly an improvement. He was a full participant in practice on Friday for the first time since his injury. Owner Jim Irsay and head coach Chuck Pagano both said they expected Luck to be ready. The Colts didn't sign a third quarterback to the roster. Basically, it seemed pretty clear that Andrew Luck would play on Sunday night against the Patriots, and multiple reports this morning confirm as much.
After working at practice throughout the week, Colts QB Andrew Luck appears good to go tonight vs Patriots, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 18, 2015
Again, this was expected, but it's still nice to see a gameday report that the franchise quarterback is playing for a change, as the past two weeks have been the opposite. While the Colts were hoping Luck would be back earlier, the goal all along was that, if he couldn't play against the Jaguars or the Texans on a short week, the extra rest should absolutely help him get back in time for the big game against the Patriots. That seems to indeed be the case, and while the Colts are still big underdogs, Luck gives them a fighting chance if he's playing well.
I think that's the biggest question: how will he play? In three games this season, Luck has completed just 56% of his passes for 753 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Is part of that due to injury? It very well could be, but either way: he needs to get better. That will be the interesting thing to watch tonight, as we will have to see just how healthy Luck is and just how effective he will be. The Colts were adamant that they wouldn't put Luck out there until he was really ready to go, so I think we can assume that he'll be healthy enough, but how will he play? He's had two weeks to sit and watch Matt Hasselbeck, and he's now healthy (we assume) from the injury (or injuries) he was dealing with. Will that mean a good performance tonight? We don't know, but one thing is for sure: unless he plays well, the Colts have zero shot at beating the Patriots. If they hope to win, they'll need their franchise quarterback to shine in his return to the field.