With Matt Hasselbeck starting, the Indianapolis Colts are 3-0 this season. Having the 40-year old backup quarterback having no problem stepping in the shoes of the franchise’s diamond, Andrew Luck, keeps the pressure off of the crown jewel when it comes to coming too soon from his injury.
Luck has been playing injured for most of the season, contributing to the Colts being only 5-5 at this point, although mistakes from Chuck Pagano and other lingering issues with this team that come from awful personnel and management decisions have helped as well. But through an injury that should have crippled the team like it has for other aspiring contenders, the Colts have stayed the course and remain on top of the AFC South, even if there’s nothing brag-worthy about their record.
Hasselbeck has been playing like it’s the mid 00’s again. He is completing 65.7% of his passes, throwing five touchdown passes and two interceptions. He’s not just playing it safe like some expect from a backup. He’s doing whatever is necessary for the win, even if two of those wins have been against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. Maybe the road win against the slipping Atlanta Falcons helped ease some minds who were worried about his ability.
And yet, when does Luck return? He’s probably out for the next two games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers before coming back for a division game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the first of three divisional games in four weeks. Hasselbeck has kept the Colts in contention of a playoff spot so far, and some might even say he is the reason they’re still in the picture. It’ll be interesting to see in what condition the Colts will be when Luck is closer to return, and if they won’t feel any rush because they have Hasselbeck keeping his place warm.