With uncertainty surrounding the status of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and when he will be able to return, it's important that they have a solid backup quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck. The problem, however, is that Hasselbeck is also injured and his left arm was seen in a sling following Sunday's loss to the Jaguars.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano updated the media on Hasselbeck's status today. "[He's] banged up," Pagano said. "Had an MRI, [but it] really wasn't unchanged from the last one. Still dealing with some stuff. Again, we'll take it day to day but hopeful he'll be out there at least by Thursday. I don't know if he'll make Wednesday, [we'll] probably rest him on Wednesday. But hopefully will be out there Thursday."
Pagano explained that the sling for Hasselbeck's left arm is not because of an arm injury but rather because Hasselbeck has been having some spasms that go along with the rib injury so the sling mobilizes the arm and helps with those spasms and to prevent them.
When asked whether Hasselbeck will start on Sunday, Pagano sounded pretty hopeful. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I'm hopeful. He's banged up, like a lot of the guys, but he's a warrior. He came back in that game after taking a pretty good lick. Matt's a tough guy and he's a great competitor, so I fully anticipate him being available for us."
Hasselbeck this season has completed 62.1% of his passes for 1,444 yards (6.84 yards per attempt), 8 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions for a passer rating of 87.1 in six starts. He has been an incredibly crucial part of the Colts even being in the race at this point, despite the fact that he has had a rough couple of games. The Colts need him available on Sunday if Andrew Luck can't play (and I wouldn't bet on it at this point), as otherwise it would be Charlie Whitehurst starting in the most important game of the season.
As for Luck, Pagano said that he really didn't have an update on Luck's status and that it hasn't changed. "He's heading the right direction, feeling better, all that stuff, but no update there," he said. Later, when asked about Luck's comments today regarding how he would hopefully practice this week, Pagano said that, "I have not heard anything from our trainers or doctors on that."
In other words, Luck's status is still very much uncertain and we don't even know for sure when he will return to practice, much less to a game. That's why it is so important that Hasselbeck is available, and it sounds like Chuck Pagano expects him to be on Sunday against the Texans.
As for other injury news, Pagano said that he is hopeful that Jerrell Freeman, Anthony Castonzo, Erik Walden, and Greg Toler will all be able to practice Wednesday, which would be huge for the Colts and a positive sign toward them being available on Sunday.