After the Colts announced yesterday that quarterback Andrew Luck suffered a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle, they placed the timeline for recovery at 2-6 weeks, while also noting that they're not sure how long Luck will be out but that they won't put him back out on the field until he's fully healthy.
Of course, the short end of that estimation (two weeks) seemed very unrealistic and it was more likely Luck would miss closer to the full range of that recovery time, though the uncertainty of the injuries made it hard to predict. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, however, the Colts expect Luck to miss at least a month and are prepared for him to miss more than that.
#Colts realistically expecting QB Andrew Luck to miss at least a month and team prepared for potentially longer absence, per league source— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 11, 2015
Let's get this much straight: the Colts need to make sure Luck is healthy first and foremost. This isn't primarily an issue of getting him back on the football field as much as it is getting him healthy. It's not like an ankle tweak or something like that; this is a lacerated kidney and a torn muscle in his abdomen. The first priority is getting Luck healthy, and they're not going to put him on the football field until that happens. That's the right thing to do, but that also means that it will likely be a bit lengthy in recovery time, even though surgery is not expected.
Missing a month would likely cause Luck to miss games against the Falcons, Buccaneers, Steelers, and possibly Jaguars, while Werder notes that it's possible Luck would miss more than that. In his absence, Matt Hasselbeck will step in as the team's starting quarterback, and he showed earlier this year that he's capable of doing so. With an experienced, reliable guy like Hasselbeck ready to step up and a pretty easy second-half schedule, it's clear that the Colts aren't dead yet. They can still get to where they want to go (winning the division and making the playoffs), but it's obvious that the Colts will need Luck back if they hope to make a playoff run. Either way, the first priority needs to be getting Luck healthy, and while that happens, it sounds like the Colts are expecting him to miss at least a month and perhaps more.