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Colts still unsure if Andrew Luck will be available next week

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said today that he is unsure if Andrew Luck will be able to play next week. With Matt Hasselbeck hurt, their starting quarterback will again be a question mark this week.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For much of last week, we were unsure of who would start at quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.  Would it be Andrew Luck, returning from an abdomen/kidney injury?  Would it be Matt Hasselbeck, dealing with a rib injury?  Or would it be Charlie Whitehurst?

Luck was ruled out on Wednesday and Hasselbeck was able to play, but it sounds like we will again be facing that uncertainty this wee about who will be starting on Sunday at quarterback.  The Colts travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins on Sunday, December 27, and once again the starting quarterback will be a question mark.

It's possible that Luck is able to return this week.  He practiced last week for the first time since his injury and this has long been mentioned as a potential return date for the quarterback, but it's far from certain at this point.  "I still don't have any information to give you," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said today after the game when asked about Luck.  "I'd love to.  I wish I knew but I don't have anything to tell you."

It seems, then, that we will have another week of wondering whether Luck will play or when he will return.  There will be plenty of Colts fans who now say to shut him down for the rest of the season because of the Colts' slim playoff hopes now, but the reality is that if Luck is truly healthy, he'll play.  The only question is whether he truly is healthy enough to return, which is currently unknown.

The Colts have more questions than simply when Luck will return, however.  Matt Hasselbeck, who has started seven games this year, is really beat up.  He has suffered rib, back, and jaw injuries this year that have led to him playing hurt for much of the past few weeks and actually missing some time during each of the past three games.  Last week, he was banged up enough that he didn't expect to play early in the week and then later in the week said that he still had some trouble with heavy breathing.  He played today, but he was again beat up and was slow to get up a number of times.  He injured his jaw today, was listed with a back injury, and was still plagued by a rib injury.  In other words, he's really hurting.

"Today I got nothing left," Hasselbeck said after the game.  "I don't know.  We'll practice Tuesday, we'll see how I feel by then.  I don't know.  I just seriously was kind of like all the focus was on today and trying to find a way to win today."

So the Colts will once again enter the week with a lot of questions at quarterback.  Who will it be starting next Sunday against the Dolphins?  At this point it's unclear, and it sounds like the Colts don't know yet either.

UPDATE: At his press conference on Monday, Chuck Pagano ruled Andrew Luck out for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.  So while we still don't know who will start at quarterback for the Colts in that game, we know it won't be Luck.