Colts head coach Chuck Pagano announced this afternoon that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck suffered a sore/stiff neck and a mild separated rib during Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the quarterback is expected to be back on the practice field on Wednesday.
Though Hasselbeck wasn't committal last night on whether he'd be able to play this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pagano was much more optimistic today after getting test results back. The head coach said that he expects Hasselbeck to be able to play next weekend in the Colts' big AFC South matchup on the road in Jacksonville. Of course, it's hard to predict how Hasselbeck's rib and neck will respond to the workload, so Pagano said they will monitor that and perhaps limit his reps in practice this week accordingly, but he again reiterated that he is "fairly confident" that Matt Hasselbeck will be alright and will be ready to play.
The backup to Hasselbeck is Charlie Whitehurst, who saw some action last night after the Colts pulled their starter from the blowout. Whitehurst completed 4 of 8 passes for 51 yards in limited action, and he would be the next man up if Hasselbeck can't go. In response to a question about whether the Colts would be concerned starting Charlie Whitehurst, Pagano said that we saw last night with a very small sample size that Whitehurst can function in this offense and that "I think we'd be ok" if it came to that, but again, it sounds like every expectation is that Matt Hasselbeck will start his fourth straight game.
Some might be wondering whether Andrew Luck would be ready to return this week if Hasselbeck can't go, but it's important to remember that this is a medical issue first, followed by a football issue. The Colts aren't going to put him out there until he's fully healthy, and that will hopefully be within the next few weeks but not this week. Pagano said that Luck is getting better and confirmed that the quarterback threw some last week, but Luck is still listed as week to week.
As for other injury news for the Colts, left tackle Anthony Castonzo and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman are both still week to week along with Luck. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett and guard Hugh Thornton, however, are expected to be back on the practice field on Wednesday, which is obviously good news. Besides for the Hasselbeck injury, the Colts suffered a couple of other injuries worth noting during Sunday's loss as well. Safety Colt Anderson suffered an ankle injury and will also be week to week, meaning that he will miss some time. Inside linebacker Nate Irving finished the game but afterward his wrist was bothering him, so the Colts ran some tests and it turns out that he has a fracture in his wrist that will require a cast and is something he won't really be able to play through, thus meaning that he too is week to week.