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Colts expect Matt Hasselbeck to start on Sunday vs. Dolphins

Head coach Chuck Pagano said today that he expects Matt Hasselbeck to start at quarterback on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After announcing on Monday that Andrew Luck will not play this weekend against the Miami Dolphins, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said on Tuesday that he expects Matt Hasselbeck to be able to start.

On Monday, when describing Hasselbeck's status, Pagano said that he is "beat up from the feet up," and that's accurate.  Hasselbeck has been dealing with a rib injury, a back injury, and now a jaw injury.  For a 40-year old quarterback, he's been incredibly beat up and has had to leave at least a portion of the last three games.  That's the kind of physical toll that having to start seven games will do to someone in that situation, and it's certainly wearing on him.  But, with that said, he has been incredibly tough and fought through the injuries, and the Colts expect him to be able to do so again.

Because of Christmas this Friday the Colts pushed their schedule up this week, meaning they were back on the practice field today - and Hasselbeck was a participant.  It was a practice held at walk-through tempo, however, so there isn't any real official injury report to be had today and better evaluation can come later in the week.  With all of that said, however, the Colts still expect Hasselbeck to make his eighth start of the year on Sunday in Miami.

On Sunday after the Colts' 16-10 loss to the Texans, Hasselbeck was obviously drained.  "Today I got nothing left," he said.  "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."

On the season, Hasselbeck has completed 148 of 241 passes (61.4%) for 1,591 yards (6.6 yards per attempt), nine touchdowns, and five interceptions for a passer rating of 84.6.  He has helped the Colts go 4-3 during his time as the starter, and he has done what the Colts signed him to do.  Unfortunately, with Luck missing half of the season the Colts are likely to miss the playoffs, but it won't all be Hasselbeck's fault.  And now, with the team clinging to a small sliver of hope at a playoff berth, they will likely turn to him once again - for the eighth time this year and the sixth straight game - in a game they absolutely must-win in order to keep any hope of the playoffs alive.