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Report: Andrew Luck played through torn rib cartilage earlier this season

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According to the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck played through torn cartilage on two of his ribs earlier this season that affected his performance.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck's 2015 season is almost certainly over.  The Colts aren't putting him on injured reserve yet as they hold out hope of a playoff berth, but Luck will not play this Sunday and with the Colts needing a lot of help to get in the postseason, it's likely that we've seen the last of Luck this year.

Luck will have missed the final seven regular season games due to a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle, and that after missing two games earlier this year with a shoulder injury.  There was also a lot of speculation that Luck was playing with a rib injury earlier this year, while FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that it was two fractured ribs.  The Colts have denied it (probably in an attempt to cover themselves instead of being found to have violated injury report rules), but most people didn't buy it (because, well, the Colts weren't exactly totally trustworthy with Luck's early-season injuries).

The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder reported on Thursday that Luck's early-season injuries were indeed more serious than the Colts disclosed, as Luck played through torn cartilage on two ribs that affected his play.  Wrote Holder:

According to an NFL source, Luck sustained torn cartilage on two of his ribs and was still coping with significant pain after returning to the lineup for four games in late October and early November. The injury likely affected Luck's performance after he returned from a two-game absence that the Colts attributed to a shoulder injury. Luck, according to the source, needed pain-killing injections to play and was quite limited by the injury, which impacted his throwing motion and likely his accuracy.

It was clear that Luck didn't look right for much of the time he was on the field this year, and this report would help explain at least a part of that.  I don't think it's the whole explanation, but I think it absolutely is a part of it - as I wrote at the time.

All in all, it has just been a disastrous season for Andrew Luck, and I'm sure he's as eager as anyone to turn the page on 2015 and move on.  He started just seven games and struggled while doing so, completing 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 (which ranks 33rd out of 35 qualifying quarterbacks this year).  In addition, he struggled with shoulder, rib, kidney, and abdomen injuries while missing nine games.