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Matt Hasselbeck expects Andrew Luck to play on Thursday vs. Texans

Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is preparing to play just in case he's needed, but he expects Andrew Luck to play on Thursday for the Colts against the Texans.

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Colts quarterback Andrew Luck returned to practice on Monday in a limited role once again, and his status for Thursday night's game against the Houston Texans is still uncertain.

Head coach Chuck Pagano really didn't give out much information.  Pagano used either "he looked good" or "he had a good day" as the answer to three questions, and Pagano added that Luck is "trending in the right direction."  He's day to day  with a "sore shoulder" (Pagano wouldn't confirm a report of a subluxation) and has had no setbacks, and Pagano said the goal is no different than it was last week: the Colts want Luck to play in their next game.

So while Pagano gave us very little of value again, Luck's backup was a bit more straightforward: Matt Hasselbeck doesn't expect to play this Thursday, meaning he expects it to be Luck.

"I'm going to approach this week just like I approached last week and every week before that," Hasselbeck said.  "I'm going to get myself ready to play.  I don't expect to play, but I'll be ready in case I'm needed."

Why doesn't Hasselbeck expect to play?  He answered that too.

"Well, this is his hometown," Hasselbeck said of Luck.  "He doesn't give me any snaps in practice.  I know that if he can make it happen, he's going to make it happen.  Again, I've got to just approach it like hey, be ready to go.  But again, this is his team and it's his offense.  I'm the backup quarterback.  That's what you do.  You just get ready to play in case, and it's always in case."

Of course, it's not simply up to Luck - he told WTHR's Dave Calabro yesterday that he's just listening to the doctors and to what they say.  But we do know that, if it's at all possible, Luck will be out there quarterbacking the Colts on Thursday night.  And while Matt Hasselbeck, Luck's backup and close friend, is preparing just in case he's needed, he doesn't expect that to be the case, as instead he expects Luck to be ready to go in his return to his hometown.  And if Matt Hasselbeck, one of Luck's closest friends on the team, expects Luck to play, I'd think there's a pretty good chance that it will happen.