For the first time in his NFL career, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is listed as "week-to-week."
Luck suffered a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle in the Colts' 27-24 victory over the Denver Broncos in week nine, and the injury is expected to keep him out for an extended period of time - estimated around a month or so. In the meantime, the Colts will turn things over to Matt Hasselbeck as the starting quarterback, but that doesn't mean that Luck won't be involved.
"He's around now and he's out at practice," head coach Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday. "Obviously we keep everybody back, not only him right now but we keep everybody back out of the fray if they're not involved in a drill. Game day, we'll have to make a decision on what we're going to do."
That decision that Pagano has on gameday is not whether or not to play Luck (he won't play) but whether or not to have Luck on the sidelines like he was earlier this year. Pagano said that Luck should be alright to travel, but he wouldn't commit to having the quarterback around on the sidelines on gameday.
If Matt Hasselbeck has any say in it, however, he absolutely wants Luck around. "I told Andrew I'm going to rely on him heavily," Hasselbeck said on Monday. "We don't win the Jacksonville or the Houston game without his help. He was incredibly helpful. I pleaded with him, sort of begged him, ‘Hey, even though you're hurt and you're not with us, I need you to be with us.' He said, ‘Absolutely.' I just wanted to get him on record just in case anything went down. I anticipate that he'll be very helpful. My goal is really just to kind of hold the fort down until he gets back."
When Luck missed two games earlier this year with a shoulder injury, he was as involved as anyone on the sidelines, cheering on his teammates and providing whatever help he could to Hasselbeck. While Pagano wouldn't commit to having him around to do the same this time, it seems likely that if Luck is healthy enough to be there, the Colts will keep him involved. He's keeping that up this week, as he's around at practice and still very much a part of the team despite his injuries.
Pagano said that Luck is in good spirits even though he's not able to play. "He's a competitor and he wants to be out there with his teammates," Pagano said. "Spirits are good, [but] frustration? Absolutely."