INDIANAPOLIS – There's no injury report on Monday's in the NFL but Chuck Pagano did share some news on the Colts franchise quarterback to start the week.
Pagano said that Andrew Luck was a "full participant" at the team's Monday practice.
The Colts practiced on Monday morning after they had the weekend off following their Thursday night win in Houston.
Starting Wednesday this week, the Colts (3-2) will get back into a normal practice routine as all eyes will look at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday night with the New England Patriots (4-0) coming into town.
Here are some sound bites from Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck from Monday:Andrew Luck on his Monday practice:
"It felt good to go through practice without limitations, in a sense, and get out there and throw."
Bowen's Analysis:* *Chuck Pagano said on Monday that Luck was a "full participant" at the Colts morning practice. Luck himself said he did more on Monday than he had in previous weeks, when he was "limited" at practice. Pagano also said Matt Hasselbeck was full-go on Monday after the Colts normal backup quarterback continues to battle back from a bacterial infection.
On Monday, Luck broke down what he's seen from the Colts offense with Hasselbeck starting the past two weeks. Luck said Hasselbeck has done a great job of getting the ball in the right guy's hands and not taking hits. As far as Luck being ready to go come Sunday, the Colts released quarterback Josh Johnson on Monday. If they move forward with the normal number of two quarterbacks on their active roster, that's obviously a very good sign Luck will play come Sunday night.
Chuck Pagano on the Patriots and looking at past matchups against them:
"This team has not played that team, right?
"We've got a heckuva a challenge on our hands. They do a great job of getting the matchups they want."
Bowen's Analysis: Pagano covered the major storylines for the week in his overview of the Patriots. He's correct in that there's been plenty of turnover personnel-wise for both teams since their two meetings last season.
At the same time, Pagano knows the Patriots have been as potent as really any team in the league after five weeks. Pagano rattled off the "flawless" numbers Tom Brady has put up in the Patriots four games (1,387 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, no interceptions, 121.5 quarterback rating). The popular theme on Monday was that this week is "a big game because it's the next game." However, you can't deny the anticipation this one will bring for the Colts after the way the last two seasons have ended.Chuck Pagano on the Colts run defense in 2015:
"I feel very good about our run defense right now, probably better than at any point (I've been here).
"We are different up front."
Bowen's Analysis: One of the major games within the game on Sunday night will be how the Colts run defense holds up against New England. The Colts have given up 657 rushing yards in their last three meetings with the Patriots.
It's a virtually entire new-look defensive line for the Colts and that unit has done a very sound job in forcing teams to be one-dimensional this year. Pagano has been really pleased with how the Colts different personnel up front has shed blocks and made plays within the 3-4 scheme. In five weeks, the Colts have held starting running backs to 3.3 yards per carry (77 carries for 257 yards). Rookie Henry Anderson talked on Monday how he senses some added energy with Patriots week now here.
The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent return specialist Marcus Thigpen and released quarterback Josh Johnson on Monday.
With the Colts parting ways again with Johnson, they are back to two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. This is obviously an indication that was likely, considering Andrew Luck was a "full participant" at Monday's practice.
Thigpen, 5-9, 200 pounds, played collegiately at Indiana. Since entering the NFL in 2009, Thigpen has bounced around the league as a return specialist. This season with the Bills, Thigpen had nine punt returns for 47 yards (5.2 avg.) and three kickoff returns for 29 yards (9.7 avg.). They released him last week.