It’s safe to assume that for almost this entire season, Andrew Luck has been playing with some sort of injury. The Indianapolis Colts keep hoping that from his current absence his return is just around the corner, but things might be more serious than some of the fans are being led to believe.
Jim Irsay, the owner and CEO of the Colts, things Luck might be able to play the team’s game against the Houston Texans in week 15, maybe the biggest game of the season for the Colts, who have the same record as the Texans while leading the AFC South (6-7) through a better record inside the division. They’ve already beaten the Texans once this season. But a loss in this game, be it Luck or Matt Hasselbeck (who also isn’t 100%, although when you’re an NFL player in your 40’s, you’re never 100%), might mean the end of their playoff streak since 2012.
Luck is suffering from a lacerated kidney injury and while being optimistic never hurts, being realistic if often more beneficial. Luck wants to practice, but he still isn’t healthy enough to be there, which means a lot about his prospects regarding the Texans game, and maybe the rest of this season. If his situation is so difficult to be sure about, maybe it’s not worth throwing him out there so soon. Chuck Pagano, the head coach who’ll probably be fired at the end of this season, said he hasn’t heard anything new from the doctors about Luck’s improvement.
Pagano was supposed to take the Colts, through Luck, to the Super Bowl this year. That’s been the slow but evident progression, at least in results, the Colts have had since Luck was drafted and became the starting quarterback for the team waking up from the Peyton Manning hangover. The owner thinks this team, especially with Luck, is ready to win multiple Super Bowls in the next few years. But this season and maybe the disappointment against the Patriots in the AFC championship game a year ago shows him that Pagano and the current general manager Ryan Grigson, with the both not really getting along, aren’t the people to do it for him.
The Colts can’t afford a loss, but they’re going to be playing with a not-100-percent-healthy quarterback against the Texans. The record with Hasselbeck this season is better (4-2), but the Colts have been beaten up in their last two games by the Steelers and even the Jaguars. Obviously, a healthy Luck gives them a better shot at winning, but from all the signs, Luck may not be healthy enough to start a game for the remainder of this season. Maybe, just for this year, it’s better to give up the dream of the Super Bowl and not risk the franchise’s biggest asset.