The Indianapolis Colts lost 51-16 to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and in doing so they lost their quarterback as well. Matt Hasselbeck did not finish the game today with a rib injury, and head coach Chuck Pagano said that the quarterback will be further evaluated and they should know more tomorrow.
Hasselbeck was first injured last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was beat up and suffered two separate injuries, a neck and a rib injury, that caused the Colts to pull him early. He was hurting this week but played on Sunday, and he was injured on two separate occasions again. The first was when he was hit hard and slammed into the turf, and it looked like he was grabbing at his shoulder or collarbone as he lay on the field. He was able to jog off the field and then, after briefly getting looked at by trainers, he was up throwing on the sidelines. After a couple of plays with Charlie Whitehurst in the game, Hasselbeck returned. Later in the game, though, he took off on a scramble and got the first down, but right as he was heading out of bounds he was hit and hit the ground on the Jaguars' sideline. Hasselbeck was in obvious pain and really upset - enough so that he slammed his helmet into the ground. He wanted a flag for a late hit out of bounds, and while it was probably a good no-call by the technicality of the rule (Hasselbeck was just one step out of bounds), it still was a hit that didn't need to happen. Either way, he was down on the Jaguars' sidelines and was looked at by trainers briefly before then jogging back across the field to the Colts sideline, with his left arm indicating that it was injured.
We don't have an update on Hasselbeck's status for next week's game and he didn't make his typical post-game podium appearance as he was getting checked out, but it's obviously a big reason for concern and something to definitely be watching this week. While there's still the hope that perhaps Andrew Luck would be able to play next week against the Texans, the fact that he hasn't practiced yet isn't ideal and a report this morning from CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora said that week 16 is a more likely return date. Chuck Pagano said after the game today that he doesn't know the status of Luck for next week but only that when the trainers say that Luck is healthy and ready to go, he'll go.
Hasselbeck has had a rough past few weeks, but he's still a good backup option. He has completed 131 of 211 passes this year (62.1%) for 1,444 yards (6.84 yards per attempt), 8 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions for a passer rating of 87.1. For a backup quarterback, that's not bad, and while the past two weeks have been rough, the Colts are much better off with him than with Charlie Whitehurst. With the biggest game of the season up next for the Colts as they host the Houston Texans next Sunday, they really could use their franchise quarterback back, but if Andrew Luck can't go, they could really use Matt Hasselbeck.