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Matt Hasselbeck To Start Eighth Game Of 2015 On Sunday

Posted Dec 22, 2015

Intro: The Colts held a walk-through type practice on Tuesday afternoon, bumping practice up a day this week with Christmas falling on Friday. What did Andrew Luck have to say to the media on Tuesday?


INDIANAPOLIS – Tuesday is normally an off day for the Colts, but not this week.

With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, the Colts moved their practice schedule up a day---to Tuesday-Thursday---this week.

The first injury report will come on Wednesday, like normal, with the Colts just taking part in a walk-through on Tuesday afternoon.

Here are a few sound bites from Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck on Wednesday:

Chuck Pagano on if he expects Matt Hasselbeck to start on Sunday:

“Yes.”



Bowen’s Analysis: No team plans in Training Camp for their backup quarterback to start eight games in a season. However, that’s now the case for Matt Hasselbeck and the Colts in 2015. Hasselbeck is expected to start on Sunday in Miami.

Sunday will mark Hasselbeck’s eighth start of the season (4-3 in those starts) and he will do it battling through injuries all over his body. Hasselbeck participated in Tuesday’s walk-through and is not in a sling to start this week, like he was last week. The Colts offensive line will once again have a major challenge on its hands in trying to protect Hasselbeck from the interior presence of Ndamukong Suh.

Andrew Luck on if he will play in Week 17, if the Colts are already eliminated from the playoffs:

“Football, man.

“And there will be something on the line.”



Bowen’s Analysis:
Luck is still practicing (hoping to do more this week), but has not been cleared yet for the team portion of practice, or for a game. Listening to Luck, you can tell how much it’s eating at the quarterback to have to watch such critical games from the sidelines.

Luck admitted on Tuesday that this season has been the toughest of his football career. At the start of Luck’s kidney recovery, he didn’t think he would still be sidelined some seven weeks later. He knew the “ambiguity” of the injury meant a wide-ranging timetable though. No. 12 didn’t mince words on Tuesday in addressing his desire to play next week, no matter what the stakes are from a playoff standpoint.

Chuck Pagano on the play of the Colts defense this year ranking No. 28 in the NFL this season:


“From a consistency standpoint, and the big plays have led to that.”



Bowen’s Analysis: Pagano is spot on with the big plays allowed by the defense this season, a major reason for their ranking. The Colts have given up 86 “big plays” this season, the third most in the league. Big plays are defined by runs of at least 10 yards and passes of at least 25 yards.

With practice changing a bit this week, the Colts coaches spent all of Tuesday morning game planning before players came in for meetings around lunchtime. Typically, Tuesday is an off day. Wednesday will be the Colts first real practice of the week for the team.

 

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