Luck ‘better every day,’ remains uncertain vs. Texans
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck is rested, ready and eager to play Thursday night at Houston.
Whether he’s healthy enough to dress may not be settled until shortly before kickoff.
Two days after missing his first professional game, the Colts quarterback stayed out of the view of reporters during Tuesday’s practice and was again listed as a limited participant and day to day with an injured right shoulder.
Afterward, Luck acknowledged the recovery is going well and he hopes to start in his hometown.
"I think I’ve gotten better every day," Luck said. "I don’t think I’m necessarily where I would want to be today in a perfect, perfect world, but I’m getting better every day."
Luck is no longer the only quarterback on Indianapolis’ injury report, either.
Backup Matt Hasselbeck, who rallied the Colts to a 16-13 overtime victory Sunday against Jacksonville, missed practice with what coach Chuck Pagano described as an illness.
Without Hasselbeck, Pagano said Luck took most of the snaps and threw some passes during the closed portion of practice. The rest of the snaps went to practice-squad quarterback Alex Tanney.
And Luck is weary of the speculation about what’s wrong.
He’d rather talk about anything else — the two-game winning streak that has Indianapolis (2-2) back atop the AFC South, Hasselbeck’s comeback victory Sunday, the return to his hometown, even Indy’s 15-game winning streak against division foes.
But as long as there are concerns about Luck’s health, the questions won’t stop.
One media report Monday said that Luck has a partially separated shoulder. Pagano said Monday that’s not the diagnosis he received, and Luck declined to shed any additional light on the injury Tuesday.
"I’m not going to give credence to any report. People have told me a lot of different things that I allegedly have or don’t have," said Luck, who started his first 57 NFL games including the playoffs. "So I’m not going to address one (report) that would give it any credence."
Meanwhile, the Texans (1-3) aren’t paying much attention to the updates coming out of Indy.
As they try to climb back into the division race by derailing the Colts’ quest for a record-breaking 16th consecutive win against division foes, Texans coach Bill O’Brien told a small group of Indianapolis reporters it makes no difference which quarterback starts.
"I would say Andrew Luck will play in the game, so we will prepare for him," O’Brien said during the conference call. "We also watched last week’s tape when Matt played, so we’ll be ready for him, too. But I would say it’s not going to alter our game plan either way too much."
Hasselbeck said Luck will play, and there are hints leaning in that direction.
Pagano has already noted Luck appears to be further along in his recovery this week than he was last week.
Luck lobbed two very short screen passes during Monday’s walkthrough open portion of practice and apparently did more extensive work Tuesday.
Indy also released third-string quarterback Josh Johnson, who was signed as an emergency option Friday. That leaves only two quarterbacks — Luck and Hasselbeck — on Indy’s active roster.
So will Luck start?
"I’m prepared to start and play and have a chance to go up against a really good football team in the Texans," Luck said. "Again, that’s the preparation mindset."
And Hasselbeck will be ready, just in case.
"I’m OK, I’m fine," he said. "I’m sure I’ll be ready to go if they need me."
Notes: Safety Mike Adams (neck), defensive lineman Henry Anderson (foot), cornerbacks Jalil Brown (groin) and Vontae Davis (foot), linebackers Jerrell Freeman (groin) and Bjoern Werner (hamstring) and running back Tyler Varga (concussion) all sat out Tuesday. … Running back Frank Gore (foot) and defensive end Kendall Langford (back), who missed Monday’s practice, returned to practice Tuesday. … Tight end Dwayne Allen (ankle) and cornerback Greg Toler (neck) did full workouts for the second straight day.