The Colts will play their sixth game of the season with Matt Hasselbeck under center today and the fourth in a row as Andrew Luck still works his way back from a lacerated kidney and torn abdomen, but the hope is that Luck is getting close to a return.
It has been five weeks since Luck suffered the injuries in the Colts' win over the Broncos, and the initial timeline was 2-6 weeks (though it always seemed like it would be toward the end of that timeframe). The Colts haven't given any official update on the timeframe yet but have simply acknowledged that Luck is throwing and progressing well. They have maintained that he simply needs more time to heal, but how much time is the big unknown. Another question is whether Luck could return to practice and to a game in the same week after missing six weeks, something that Chuck Pagano admitted this week he didn't know. Last week, Colts owner Jim Irsay told NFL Media's Ian Rapoport that he believed Luck could return for the team's huge week 15 game against the Houston Texans, but that if not Luck should for sure be back by week 16.
Today on CBS's NFL pregame show, Jason La Canfora reported that the Colts view Luck as "questionable" for the week 15 game and that a return to the field in week 16 is more likely. That would mean a return on December 27 against the Miami Dolphins on the road as opposed to the December 20 potential AFC South championship against the Texans.
It has been a very rough season for Luck, as he has missed six games due to injury and, in the games he has played, has struggled at times. He has completed just 55.3% of his passes for 1,881 yards (6.42 yards per attempt), 15 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions for a passer rating of 74.9. His best performance of the season came in week nine against the Denver Broncos as Luck led the Colts to a victory, but it came at a cost as he was injured. Matt Hasselbeck has helped keep the team alive in Luck's absence, but if the team wants any hope at a playoff run they'll need their franchise quarterback on the field. Getting Luck back in week 16 would allow Luck to return to game action when he's fully healthy but so that his first game isn't in the playoffs. Of course, ideally the Colts may have the division all but wrapped up at that point if they can win the next two games, but either way it will be nice for the Colts to get their franchise player back on the field shortly. According to La Canfora's report this morning, that return should for sure happen in two weeks, even if next week is questionable.