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Indianapolis Colts

Amidst Seven Different Active Quarterbacks, Colts Play For .500 Season

Intro: The Colts have had a remarkable number of seven quarterbacks on their active roster in 2015. How trying of a 2015 season has it been for the Colts?


INDIANAPOLIS – It sounds like an ESPN "30 for 30" gone badly.

What if I told you your franchise quarterback, who hadn't missed a snap due to injury in his first three NFL seasons, was going to be sidelined for more than half the season?

That has been real life for the 2015 Indianapolis Colts.

In 2015, the Colts have had a ridiculous seven quarterbacks on their active roster.

To put that in perspective, they had a combined four quarterbacks (Chandler Harnish, Matt Hasselbeck Andrew Luck and Drew Stanton) on their 53-man rosters from 2012-2014---when Luck was taking every meaningful snap and leading the team one step further every year.

Reality for the Colts in 2015 has them entering Week 17 of the season with three healthy quarterbacks: Josh Freeman, Ryan Lindley and Stephen Morris. The trio has been in Indianapolis for less than a week.

"To be sitting here," Chuck Pagano says, "and dealing with all the circumstances that we've dealt with especially at that position and you've still got a chance---credit these guys in the locker room and credit the coaches.

"Been through a lot and you're still sitting there and you still got a chance."

The chance is microscopic, but the Colts do head into Week 17 with a shot at salvaging a .500 season without their franchise quarterback for more than half the season.

NFL franchises dread hardly anything more than having to turn to their backup quarterback. And for good reason, too.

This season, backups are 27-44 (.380 winning percentage) when called into starting duty.

They can thank Matt Hasselbeck (5-3, .625 winning percentage as a starter this season) for five of those victories.

"When you're without your starting quarterback who played every game for three years-plus and then you got to have a backup, thank God we had Matt," Pagano said earlier this week.

"Matt did a phenomenal job filling in for Andrew. 4-0 at one time. 4-2 and then got banged up, tried to battle through some tough injuries and I can't say enough great things about Matt Hasselbeck and then Charlie coming in and learning the offense, quick study and then coming in (Sunday) and finding a way to will that team and get a win."

The Colts five wins by a starting reserve quarterback in 2015 are tied with the Texans for the most in the NFL this season.

In a season Pagano has labeled the most trying of his 30 years in football, the Colts head coach has been steadfast in the belief of his team.

"There have been a lot of tests," Pagano says. "There's been obstacles, there's been adversity and that's just how it is. Whether you're coaching football or in life itself, you're going to have to deal with stuff.

"Every time we don the 'shoe on the side of our helmet and we line up to play, we play to win. We prepare that way. These guys are wired that way, they don't know any different. They'd look at me cross-eyed if I went in there and said, 'Hey, we're not (going for it), you know? They'd run me out of here. That's not us. That's just not in our DNA. I don't get that."

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