Colts quarterback Andrew Luck missed his second straight game on Thursday night with a shoulder injury, but make no mistake: he's been just as involved as ever.
Whenever CBS showed Luck on the sidelines, he was into it. Whether he was talking to the coaches, Matt Hasselbeck, or some of the other players, or cheering on something that had happened, or high-fiving someone (with his left hand!), it was clear that he was into it and loving it when his team was doing well.
Matt Hasselbeck has been around for a long time, but he still appreciated Andrew Luck being around, being involved, and being supportive.
"He said he was so proud of me," Hasselbeck said when asked what Luck said to him after the game. "Once again proving, he is the mentor. And I've learned more from that kid than I could ever teach him or rub off on him. He was incredibly helpful. He ran every meeting like he was playing. He spoke for me last night. I had nothing. I was in the room, and he was speaking for me. I felt it was very awkward. Andrew is a great teammate, and he got the offensive line going, the receivers going. He helped me study. I can't say enough about him. He's a great kid."
After last week's game against the Jaguars, Chuck Pagano noted how involved Luck was despite not playing.
"Did you watch him on the side when the TV had him on there? He played that game," Pagano said Monday. "He did. Mentally, he wasn't out there physically, but mentally he played that game. Every single snap. On both sides. When he had a chance. When he was done with the offense and making adjustments and this, that and the other, every play he was on that earpiece and he's strained mentally. He gave everything he had. He was mentally whipped after that just like he did play it. So that's always hard when you're a competitive—all these guys are great, great competitors and not to be able to do what you love to do is extremely difficult."
The Colts would, of course, rather have Andrew Luck playing on the field. But it's a testament to who he is that he's so involved in the game despite not playing. He's helping out however he can. Let's just hope that will soon be with his play on the field as well.