The NFL is missing Andrew Luck.
The league’s favorite neckbeard has missed the previous four weeks with multiple injuries, and was once again in sweatpants as his Colts took on the Steelers last night. Matt Hasselbeck started in his place for the fourth consecutive week.
A season filled with promised dampened quickly, as Luck was pounded en route to a 1-3 start. But because Indianapolis plays in the AFC South, the season is never lost. Hasselbeck has rallied the troops, and the Colts will enter Week 14 as division leaders.
Luck was originally sidelined on November 10th, after the team’s biggest win of the season over the Denver Broncos. Luck went for testing after the game, where it was revealed he had suffered numerous injuries, most notably a lacerated kidney and a partial abdominal tear. The original prognosis was 2-6 weeks, and we’re now halfway through at four weeks.
Colts owner Jim Irsay told NFL.com that Week 15 is the targeted return date for Luck. Head coach Chuck Pagano has used careful wording, and stated that Luck won’t return to action until he is “100 percent” healthy. The verbage could play into Pagano’s hands later, because it gives him the leash to ride the hot hand of Hasselbeck as long as possible.
From an injury standpoint, part of the onus is on Luck. The former Stanford star is an above-average scrambler, but was criticized by Chuck Pagano earlier this season for “playing the position like a linebacker.”
If Irsay keeps his word, Luck would return in two weeks for the Colts’ visit to the Houston Texans. The meeting will likely be the most important of each team’s season, as the Texans trail the Colts by a tiebreaker in the AFC South standings.