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Chuck Pagano, Andrew Luck allow questions to linger about Luck's potential rib injury

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Head coach Chuck Pagano and quarterback Andrew Luck neither confirmed nor denied that Luck is playing with a rib injury, raising the level of intrigue even more.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, a report emerged from FOX Sports' Jay Glazer stating that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing with multiple fractured ribs.  It was another piece to the puzzle - albeit one that many expected was true - as to why Luck has been struggling recently, and Luck's awful play on Monday night against the Panthers led to more speculation.

General manager Ryan Grigson released a statement through the team on Sunday that didn't confirm nor deny Luck's injury but rather simply maintained that "our injury reports are accurate."  Of course, if the Colts failed to disclose Luck's injury on the injury report then they would be in violation of NFL rules, which is what Grigson was referring to.  By saying that the injury reports are accurate, however, there would seem to be a hint of denial from Grigson too, but nothing outright.

After Monday night's loss, head coach Chuck Pagano was asked whether Luck was playing injured, and he didn't confirm nor deny it.  "Our guys have issued a statement," Pagano said, referring to Grigson's statement released a day earlier.  Luck himself was also asked about a potential rib injury, but said, "I'm not going to get into that right now."

So you have the head coach and the franchise quarterback neither confirming the injury nor denying it, which certainly raises the level of suspicion.  Simply put, if Luck is playing injured, the Colts need to just come out and say it.  Not all of his struggles would be due to an injury anyway, but when Luck looks this bad, if he's playing hurt the Colts need to make it known.  Furthermore, if he is indeed playing hurt, it's stupid to try to make things worse and continue to hide it.  Instead, come clean, reveal the injury, and try to get off with the excuse that they didn't think they needed to list Luck since he wasn't limited in practice.  Teams have gotten away with far worse.

Then again, if Luck isn't playing hurt, then why hide it?  Why let the speculation and talk continue to run rampant?  Why let everyone continue thinking that they broke NFL rules?  There's really no logical explanation for not denying it if Luck isn't playing hurt.

We can't really believe anything the Colts say when it comes to injuries (particularly to Luck) or much else, either, so in a sense this really doesn't mean much.  But the non-denial and non-confirmation from both Pagano and Luck certainly raises some eyebrows if they weren't already raised and would seem to lend some credence to the theory that there's something going on after all.  This week's injury report could be a very significant one to watch.